I continue to be impressed with what Disney is able to offer with the live-action adaptations of their animated classics. New castings and hiring directors have always impressed me. And now the latest news is nothing short of that.
Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, IP Man) will now be in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Mulan. Directed by Niki Caro, the film stars Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, as the title character. Find out who Yen will be playing in the full story below.
THR says Yen will be playing Commander Tung, a mentor to Mulan. This is an original character for the live-action film as he did not appear in the animated version. Though a lot of the Disney animated films have musical inspirations, and Yen can sing and dance, Caro is not making this a musical. While the film doesn’t need to be a musical, it would be such a waste not to utilize Yen’s other talents. I mean, we know the guy can fight. But sing too? Use that to surprise audiences and show that he does have a softer side.
Still, there are other things to look forward to, like the reported epic scope of the film. Here’s what Caro had to say about what to expect from the film:
“It’s a big, girly martial arts epic. It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.”
Honestly, that is something I am looking forward to more than whether or not the film will use new and old songs. Plus this is another opportunity to see a woman of color kick ass. And who doesn’t want to see that? There’s really no point in adding the songs if it’s not going to fit in the story. Cinderella and Maleficent really didn’t make a point of using any songs. However, films like Beauty and the Beast and the upcoming Aladdin will be using songs. So different directors and different visions. As much as I would like to see them use songs, Caro’s vision sounds a lot more exciting.
This will be the second time that Yen has worked with Disney. The first was for 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The casting does seem to indicate that Caro is trying to veer away from the animated original. In that film, we saw Mulan have pet sidekicks like Mu-shu (Eddie Murphy), a tiny dragon who acted as her mentor and guardian.
Mulan is tentatively scheduled for a November 2, 2018, release.