Disney’s long-awaited live-action version of the Hua Mulan stories from China is a giant step closer with the release of a new trailer. Mulan’s sweeping story lends itself to epic film making. If what we see on the trailer is any indication, the movie will deliver.
“I’m Hua Mulan. I will bring honor to us all.”
Yifei Liu plays Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
The movie is not a straight retelling of the animated Disney film, but rather re-imagines the story to update it to modern sensibilities while better rooting it in Chinese culture.
For instance, instead of the dragon Mushu, a Phoenix is featured. In many Asian myths the Phoenix represents a more feminine deity with ties to heavenly power. If one graced your house, it meant your family was loyal and honest.
In this updated version, the northen invaders are the most historically accurate Rourans, whose leader Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) is the main villain of the film. He is accompanied by a shapeshapeshifting witch instead of the sidekick falcon from the animated film.
Director Niki Caro, whose previous credits include Whale Rider, North Country, and The Zookeepers Wife, obviously knows how to make movies with strong female leads.
The movie also stars Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Xana Tang, Gong Li, and the great martial artist star Jet Li as the Emperor.
“Mulan” arrives in theaters on March 27, 2020.