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Thread: Mulan (2020)

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I stumbled over a queue of potential Mulans. I will post some.
    Just bring back Zhao Wei for a remake.

  2. #17
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    Niki Caro directs

    Interesting choice. I loved Whale Rider (2002)

    FEBRUARY 14, 2017 12:29pm PT by Rebecca Sun
    Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Finds Director (Exclusive)


    Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney; Han Myung-Gu/WireImage
    Niki Caro, William Kong

    Niki Caro will helm the film, while ‘Crouching Tiger’ producer Bill Kong is joining as executive producer.

    Niki Caro, who broke through with the 2002 Maori family drama Whale Rider, will direct Disney’s live-action Mulan, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

    In an industry where female-helmed tentpoles are still rare, Caro will be the second woman at the studio to direct a movie budgeted at over $100 million. (Ava DuVernay is the first, with A Wrinkle in Time.)

    Caro’s most recent film, Focus’ upcoming The Zookeeper’s Wife, has been praised for its gender-inclusive set by its star, Jessica Chastain. Disney previously worked with Caro, a New Zealand native, on the 2015 cross-country drama McFarland, USA, for which she lived in central California for nearly a year to immerse herself in the Mexican-American community there.

    Disney also considered other women for its woman-warrior project, including Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones). Caro’s hiring likely takes her out of the running for Captain Marvel, the studio’s first female-fronted superhero movie. THR reported last August that she was on the short list of directors for that film, along with Homeland’s Lesli Linka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria, who helmed 2012’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

    Disney and producers Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner are taking pains to assure fans that Mulan will be culturally authentic. The studio had initially sought an Asian director for the project, meeting with Ang Lee (who passed, citing scheduling) and Rogue One star Jiang Wen, a hit director in his native China. Sony, which is developing a rival live-action film about the Chinese legend, also hoped to put an Asian director at the helm, but ultimately hired television veteran Alex Graves.

    In addition to extensive conversations with Chinese cultural consultants and working closely with Disney’s own China-based team, the studio is bringing on Hong Kong-based super-producer Bill Kong as executive producer. Kong produced the most successful Chinese films to cross over — Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which he received an Oscar nomination — as well as many of China’s biggest hits, including Monster Hunt, Wolf Totem and Journey to the West.

    Last fall, controversy briefly arose when reports surfaced that the original spec that Disney purchased, written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, featured non-Chinese characters, including a white male lead. Disney quickly responded that Mulan and all primary characters in its movie, which has been rewritten by Jurassic World’s Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, will remain Chinese. The studio is focusing its casting search in mainland China for the main roles, including the legendary woman warrior herself.

    Caro is repped by UTA, Artists House and Lichter Grossman.

    Rebecca Ford and Borys Kit contributed to this story.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #18
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    Zhao Wei vs. Disney Princess


    What Disney can learn from the 2009 Chinese live-action ‘Mulan’
    HERE'S WHAT 'HUA MULAN' GOT RIGHT
    4:30 PM EST, FEBRUARY 17, 2017
    DISNEYFEATURES
    NASIM MANSURI

    Disney seems to have a long-term plan to churn out live-action versions of its most popular animations, and Mulan is the latest of its projects. The live-action version of the Chinese legend is already getting us excited, but many people don’t know that an excellent live-action Mulan movie already exists, made by a Chinese studio.

    Hua Mulan (sometimes translated as Mulan: Rise of a Warrior) is a 2009 film by director Jingle Ma. It tells the story of Hua Mulan, a young woman who goes to war instead of her aging father, and rises in the army’s ranks. It won many awards in China, and stars Wei Zhao as Mulan.

    Disney’s Mulan wasn’t favorably received in China when it was released, with audiences saying it was too different from the original legend, and too Westernized. Now would be a good time for the studio to make the film as globally appealing as it can be — and Hua Mulan is a perfect example of how to do our favorite female warrior justice.

    Here are some things Hua Mulan got right that Disney would do well to learn from.



    Bringing more realism to the legend

    Hua Mulan follows a plot that is more loyal to the original legend of Mulan, which states that she was a warrior for the Chinese army for over a decade. In the film, she even becomes a General, and retires with the nation’s respect, even after her identity as a woman is revealed.

    Seeing Mulan lead thousands of men in Hua Mulan is a rare and empowering experience. Her struggles as a woman in a position of power, and the various dilemmas that come with commanding such a large number of people, are what bring intensity and meaning to the story. Mulan itself explored the concept of honor and femininity as well, but we only got a very small glimpse at the power that the legendary Mulan is said to have actually wielded.

    While Disney may not want to make a movie that ventures too far from a family friendly atmosphere by portraying a Mulan who goes to war too realistically (as in, showing her killing enemies), it would be great to see her rise in the ranks and revolutionize such a male-dominated space the way she is said to have done.



    Not shying away from the grit — but not making it too grim, either

    Hua Mulan does an excellent job of skirting the line between grim tragedy and friendly comedy. With thousands of extras, the battle scenes are as breathtaking and inspiring as they are horrifying. There’s a scene where Mulan counts the dog tags of all the fallen soldiers, and a considerable amount of time is spent exploring her despair and responsibility as the army’s struggle becomes more desperate. The emotional rawness of the story creates a very real, very flawed, yet very lovable Mulan — and takes audiences on an exploration of heroism, perseverance, and honor.

    Of course, we can’t expect Disney to go all out with blood and grit — they’re bound to bring out Mushu, after all — but Disney prides itself on epic battles and fantastic special effects, and they’ll want to serve us war scenes as breathtaking and realistic as possible.

    However, we’re all tired of grittiness for grittiness’ sake. Despite the heaviness of the more emotional scenes of Hua Mulan, there is sweetness and humor. The friendships in the army, much like those of Disney’s version, can be laugh-out-loud funny, and the scenes of Mulan’s struggle to preserve her male appearance are equally fun to watch.

    After all, audiences won’t be going to see Mulan to see war and sadness — the animated version was fun and adventurous, and although it had somber moments, it still managed to keep things just lighthearted enough for us to not get too sad. With animation, that lightheartedness is an easier task; portraying war with real actors could prove a more difficult challenge.



    Establishing more depth in the main relationship

    In Hua Mulan, Mulan and Wentai’s relationship is beautiful, but it builds over a long period of time, and strengthens through their mutual respect as they both struggle to lead an army. Their love is based on that combination of trust built over time, and shared responsibility.

    Shang and Mulan have what is possibly one of the best relationships Disney has ever come up with. Among the Disney ‘princesses,’ Mulan and Shang probably have the greatest chemistry and story of all, and scenes from the animated film continue to be shipping fuel. Presumably, they’ll want to replicate this relationship in the new live-action version.

    However, the animated film was sadly limited to only a few glimpses of the developing relationship. It would be amazing if we could see more of the friendship between Shang and Mulan (as Ping) and how it becomes something more. It’s rare in a ‘princess’ movie to see romance begin with sincere friendship, and it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the confusion regarding Mulan’s gender in both a funny and profound way.



    Giving it a more realistic conclusion

    There are some scenes that could do with a makeover, especially at the very end. Mulan’s final trick to kill Shan Yu — by dressing three soldiers in drag and having them attempt to distract him — is hilarious in the animation, but would come off as strange and unrealistic in a live-action movie, and perhaps even a little offensive.

    Hua Mulan’s approach to defeating the enemy is a much more powerful one. Although it equals Mulan in stealth and cleverness, it involves realistic strategy and power dynamics, and finally involves her making a deal that saves China through negotiation, rather than war — and making a terribly painful personal sacrifice.

    Disney has a penchant for epic final battle scenes, but that isn’t what happens in either Mulan or Hua Mulan. In both cases, it’s Mulan’s cleverness that saves the day. It would be great to see that cleverness translated into a realistic solution, in the same way it does in Hua Mulan.

    It’s not like Disney hasn’t subverted its own canon, after all. In Maleficient, it isn’t the prince’s kiss that lifts the spell. Disney could certainly benefit from giving Mulan a more epic finale, and perhaps one that does her legendary character justice.

    Immersing us in historically-accurate China

    Besides perhaps The Jungle Book, we’ve yet to see a live-action adaptation that takes place in a non-European culture. In fact, this would be the first film to employ solely actors of color. What Disney decides to do here will be particularly interesting; since Aladdin will be getting its own adaptation soon, and Pocahontas could also follow in the live-action trend, the decisions taken here will likely set a precedent for what will be done with those films.

    There were rumors earlier of Mulan having a white love interest, which now seem to be crushed, thankfully. We want to see a film with an entirely Asian cast — hopefully at least mostly Chinese — and get a chance to explore the scenery, sets and props of ancient China.

    Although, it’s only fair to say that Hua Mulan also has its own white character — a Russian singer called Vitas, who inexplicably pops up now and again. That’s another tip for Disney: don’t just insert white guys into the story for no reason.

    Hua Mulan’s shots of rural China are beautiful and unique, and it would be amazing to see what Disney can do if they choose to show much of what they did in animation, with real sets and locations. Hopefully, Disney gets a chance to actually film in China itself.



    All this doesn’t go to say that we want a copy of Hua Mulan. Not at all. Hua Mulan is an excellent film in its own right, but it’s considerably more adult than Disney would ever dare make an adaptation. The realism of its wars and of the toll duty takes on Mulan and her companions is nothing like the fun, if occasionally emotional, adventure Disney took us on with Mulan.

    Disney’s version is a movie to be excited about, and the additions the animated film made to the legend are what makes it a classic. It would be amazing to see Mushu, Shang, the ancestors, and maybe even the cricket, on screen, as well as the songs, of course! “Make a Man Out of You” with real actors will definitely be one of the biggest highlights.

    So far, we know that Mulan’s director will be Niki Caro. Although she isn’t Chinese, a matter that raises a lot of questions about representation, it’s still encouraging to see a female director chosen — and if Caro’s powerful film Whale Rider is any indication, she’s rather good at telling empowering stories with female leads. Hopefully, the rest of the team can be filled with talented Chinese filmmakers that deserve to have a hand in rendering such a culturally significant story properly.

    After all, Mulan is primarily a Chinese legend, and her story spans a history much longer than the 18 years since Disney’s animation came out.

    In the meantime, go check out Hua Mulan, which is a fascinating film (although a considerably more adult one; you’ve been warned)!
    I don't really agree with this author. I wasn't overly impressed by Zhao Wei's Mulan. And I'm a fan of Zhao Wei.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  4. #19
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    November 8, 2019 or December 20, 2019?



    Disney's Mulan Live-Action Movie Gets Delayed Until 2019
    BRIAN GALLAGHER 07.15.2017

    Earlier today, Disney held its live-action films panel at the D23 Expo, where the studio unveiled new footage and details for its upcoming slate, including upcoming Marvel movies, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and much more. The studio also announced a few changes to its release slate, pushing the highly-anticipated Mulan live-action movie out of its previously-announced November 2, 2018 release date, and into an unspecified date in 2019. While no specific date was given, Disney has already staked out two dates for 2019 movies, on November 8, 2019 and December 20, 2019, so it's possible this project could take one of those slots.

    While Disney took the opportunity at the panel to announce cast members for other upcoming projects such as their Aladdin remake, no casting announcements were made for Mulan, which could be why the release date was shifted. The Mulan 2018 release date was announced last October, although there has never been any confirmation as to when production may begin. The live-action remake had come under fire last fall, when rumors circulated that the studio was seeking a white male character for the lead role, instead of the title character Mulan, but the studio debunked that rumor, stating that Mulan will have an "all-Asian cast."

    The rumor surfaced after it was reported that the Mulan spec script Disney purchased, from writers Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, centers on a, "30-something European trader who initially cares only for the pleasure of women and money," who becomes the love interest to Mulan. Disney responded by stating that the script was a "jumping off point," for a story that will draw from both the "literary ballad of Mulan" and the 1998 Disney animated film, which featured Ming-Na Wen as the voice of the title character. Disney also confirmed that Mulan and all of the primary roles, including the love interest, will in fact be Chinese.

    The last update we had from Mulan was back in March, when director Niki Caro revealed that this story will be a "muscular piece of girly martial arts extravaganza in China." The director also revealed that she will begin preparing for this movie by taking martial arts lessons herself, alongside her nine-year-old daughter. She also shot down talk that this would be a live-action musical, with no songs being planned at this time, despite the animated version featuring beloved songs such as "Reflection" and "I'll Make a Man Out of You." It's possible that the studio could change its mind regarding the musical aspect and it's possible that may be why the release date changed, but no specific reason was given by the studio.

    Niki Caro, who most recently directed McFarland USA for Disney, is directing from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who were brought in to rewrite the original spec. The original Mulan earned $120.6 million domestically and $304.3 million worldwide when it first hit theaters in 1998. Oddly enough, Mulan was one of the few Disney Princesses who were not shown in a new scene from Wreck-It Ralph 2, which features the voice talent of Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O'Hara (Belle), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Kelly MacDonald (Merida) and Kristen Bell (Anna). Hopefully we'll find out more about this Mulan remake soon.
    Missed the Wreck-It Ralph 2 snub.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #20
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    Crystal

    NOVEMBER 29, 2017 9:00am PT by Rebecca Sun, Rebecca Ford
    Disney's 'Mulan' Finds Its Star (Exclusive)



    Getty Images

    Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to play the lead in the live-action adaptation directed by Niki Caro.
    After a yearlong worldwide search, Mulan has been found.

    Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to star as the title woman warrior in Disney's live-action adaptation of the classic Chinese tale.

    A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, which requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and the most ineffable requirement of all: star quality. In deference to cultural accuracy, the studio focused on locating an ethnically Chinese young woman to play Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to take her father's army conscription in fifth-century China.

    In Liu, Disney found the complete package. Nicknamed "Fairy Sister" by the Chinese public for her pure and innocent looks and image, she has been one of the country's most popular actresses of the current generation since breaking out with a series of hit television dramas in the mid-2000s, while she was still a teenager enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy. She is fluent in English, having lived in Queens, N.Y., for part of her childhood, and acted in English in both 2008's The Forbidden Kingdom, alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and 2014's Outcast, opposite Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen. She also starred opposite Emile Hirsch in Danish auteur Bille August's period romance The Chinese Widow, which opened the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.

    Liu, who has served as a brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier and Pantene, most recently starred in the fantasy romance Once Upon a Time, which earned $82.3 million in China this summer. Her other credits include 2012's The Assassins, which earned Liu her first major acting award (at the Macau International Movie Festival), Never Gone and The Four trilogy. She recently signed with WME and continues to be represented by Chinese manager David Chen.

    Niki Caro, who most recently helmed The Zookeeper’s Wife, is directing Disney's live-action Mulan, which is produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner and eyeing a 2019 release. The 1998 animated version, voice-starring Agents of SHIELD's Ming-Na Wen alongside Eddie Murphy and B.D. Wong, earned $304.3 million worldwide as well as Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.

    I'm happy for Crystal, but having met her, no amount of make-up and cross-dressing will ever make me mistake her for a man.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #21
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    That's an awful pic of Crystal Vanity Fair.

    What Disney’s Newly Cast Mulan Says About the Studio’s Next Splashy Remake
    Actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been selected to play the iconic titular role.
    by YOHANA DESTA
    NOVEMBER 29, 2017 1:31 PM


    Left, from VCG/Getty Images; Right, from Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection.

    Disney has finally found a leading lady to play the titular role in Mulan. Stateside audiences, prepare to meet actress Liu Yifei (also known as Crystal Liu), the Chinese star tasked with bringing the role into live action. Liu was picked after a year of speculation over who would star in the new adaptation, and Disney reportedly sorted through nearly 1,000 candidates before picking her, according to the The Hollywood Reporter.

    Liu, 30, has previously starred in a number of TV shows and films, including Chinese-American projects like the 2008 action-fantasy The Forbidden Kingdom—which also starred Jackie Chan and Jet Li—and the 2014 film Outcast, featuring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen. That action experience will serve her well for the role of Mulan, a tomboy who eschews her domestic life to become a legendary warrior.

    Per T.H.R., Liu is also already a bankable star in China. She recently headlined the fantasy romance Once Upon a Time, which earned $82.3 million, and is currently serving as a brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier, and Pantene. She’s a known entity with hits under her belt, someone with experience both in English-language films and Chinese productions—a double whammy that should help her appeal to both American audiences who grew up on Disney’s animated version of Mulan and Chinese audiences who want to see her story represented well.

    This casting decision ticks off quite a few important boxes for Disney. For one, now that they can put a face to Mulan, fans will no longer focus on false rumors about the studio potentially whitewashing the story. In addition, casting a Chinese star helps the studio cater directly to Chinese audiences, the all-important demographic that can bolster or destroy blockbuster’s global box-office hopes. It’s no secret that Hollywood has spent the past several years openly courting Chinese theatergoers; see, for example, Lucasfilm tapping stars like Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen to star in Rogue One. Given its subject matter, Mulan could be the ultimate culmination of those box-office dreams. Of course, the film also seems guaranteed to be a hit no matter what, considering the strong performances of past Disney live-action reboots; Beauty and the Beast, for instance, crossed the $1 billion mark and is the highest-grossing film of 2017. Still, it doesn’t hurt to cast a star who will ensure the film’s titular role is grounded in cultural accuracy.

    Liu’s casting is also fascinating for another reason: the actress is much older than Mulan was in both the original animated film and the Chinese legend. Aging Mulan up a few years will allow the studio to make a slightly more mature film, which seems in line with the character’s adventurous story line—and it could also mean an opportunity for age-appropriate romance, albeit not with the white male lead some fans worried Disney was intent on casting. Niki Caro, the filmmaker who helmed dramas like North Country and Whale Rider, is set to direct the film.
    Forbidden Kingdom
    Outcast
    Once Upon a Time
    Gene Ching
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  7. #22
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    Donnie!

    Wow. Now I'm even more invested in this.

    APRIL 11, 2018 4:53PM PT
    ‘Mulan’ Live-Action Disney Reboot Casts ‘Rogue One’ Star Donnie Yen

    By Justin Kroll @krolljvar
    Film Reporter
    @krolljvar


    CREDIT: VIANNEY LE CAER/INVISION/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    Donnie Yen is set to star opposite Liu Yifei in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan.”

    Niki Caro is directing, and Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner are producing the movie. The film’s release was recently pushed back by more than a year to March 27, 2020.

    The English-language version of the original “Mulan” (1998) featured the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer, and BD Wong, while Jackie Chan voiced Chinese dubs of the movie. The animated film grossed $304.3 million worldwide.

    “Jurassic World” and “Avatar” sequel scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver came on board in 2015 to rewrite the spec by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin.

    The studio’s emphasis on live-action reboots follows the successes of “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” and, most recently, “Beauty and the Beast,” which was one 2017’s biggest box office hits. The studio is now shooting “Dumbo,” with Tim Burton directing and Colin Farrell starring.

    Yen recently appeared in another Disney tentpole: 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” He also has ties to Chinese singer-actress Yifei, who co-starred in “Ip Man 3.” Yen just started filming “Ip Man 4.”

    He is repped by CAA, Bullet Films, and Bloom Hergott. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #23
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    Jet! And Gong Li!

    Woah. WHAAATTT?!?

    So awesome.

    Note - THR messed up on the photo caption. Hopefully the original article will correct that soon.

    APRIL 12, 2018 10:00am PT by Rebecca Sun
    Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Lands Gong Li, Jet Li (Exclusive)



    Left, Laurent Viteur, right, Jesse Grant, both Getty Images

    Gong Li will play the live-action film's villain, while Jet Li is in final talks for the emperor.
    Disney's live-action Mulan has landed two massive Chinese stars, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.

    Jet Li is in final talks to play the emperor of China, who orders the mobilization of troops via the conscription of one male from each household. The titular heroine, Hua Mulan (Liu Yifei), disguises herself as a man in order to spare her elderly father from having to join the military.

    The Beijing-born Li is one of China's biggest and most enduring crossover stars. After the martial arts champ became a superstar in Asia on the strength of franchises like Shaolin Temple and Once Upon a Time in China, he made his Hollywood debut in 1998's Lethal Weapon 4, followed by Romeo Must Die opposite Aaliyah in 2000. His other credits include Zhang Yimou's Hero, Peter Ho-Sun Chan's 2007 epic The Warlords and The Expendables series.

    Meanwhile, Gong Li is confirmed as the villain of Mulan, a powerful witch (this appears to be a departure from Disney's 1998 animated version, in which the primary antagonist was Shan Yu, leader of the invading Huns).

    Gong has long been considered one of China's finest actresses and greatest beauties. A longtime muse of Zhang Yimou since her debut in 1988's Red Sorghum, she also has starred in his The Story of Qiu Ju (for which she won two best actress awards at Venice), Raise the Red Lantern, Curse of the Golden Flower and, most recently, 2014's Coming Home. She also earned international acclaim in Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine. Gong starred opposite Jeremy Irons in Wayne Wang's Chinese Box and has acted in English in Memoirs of a Geisha, Miami Vice and Hannibal Rising.

    Also joining the cast is Chinese-Vietnamese actress Xana Tang, who will play Mulan's sister (another original character for the live-action film). The New Zealand-based actress' credits include local series Filthy Rich and Australian series The Letdown and Dead Lucky.

    Niki Caro is directing the film, which also includes Donnie Yen as Mulan's mentor, Commander Tung. Mulan, whose release date was pushed back to March 27, 2020, will begin shooting in August in China and New Zealand.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #24
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    Fingers crossed for Jet

    Live-action ‘Mulan’ remake will feature all-Asian cast
    ANALYSIS | Not all studios are ignoring calls for better on-screen representation and diversity


    Actress Liu Yifei will play Mulan and actress Gong Li will play a powerful witch in Disney’s upcoming, Mulan. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; Andreas Rentz/Getty)

    Monica Castillo
    April 13

    Disney recently confirmed that Chinese superstar Gong Li will play the villain, a powerful witch, for the studio’s live-action remake of its 1998 animated movie, “Mulan.”

    Disney is also in final talks with actor Jet Li for the role of emperor of China.

    Previously announced castmates include Donnie Yen from the “Ip Man” action movie series as Commander Tung, and Liu Yifei as Mulan, a young Chinese woman who pretends to be a male soldier to take her elderly father’s place in the military. Yifei won the role after a year-long search for the next actress to play the role originally voiced by Ming-Na Wen.

    New Zealand director Niki Caro (of “Whale Rider” fame) will direct the film which is set to premiere March 27, 2020.

    It’s a baby step move for a company that didn’t have their first black princess until 2009. Less than a decade ago, diversity in Disney movies was much harder to find and even non-white characters were sometimes voiced by white actors.

    David Spade voiced the lead in the Peruvian-set “The Emperor’s New Groove,” Jake Gyllenhaal led the Disney-produced adaptation of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” and Johnny Depp didn’t go over entirely well as Tonto in their version of “The Lone Ranger.”

    Most of the Disney live-action remakes – “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Pete’s Dragon” and “Beauty and the Beast” – feature white actors in the lead roles. “The Jungle Book” starred a nonwhite lead, although according to Disney’s proposed release schedule, we’re also due for a live-action version of “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

    The casting decision may look like a savvy business move, and it likely is. China is one of the top movie markets in the world and casting big stars from the country is a good way to get fans to support the movie.

    As “Black Panther” and several movies before it have shown, representation matters. The effect of watching an Asian heroine fight battles and win can be an empowering experience for those who have never seen an American-made movie cast an Asian woman in the lead role.

    This version may not replace people’s fondness for the original, but the remake gives us Disney’s first live-action movie with an all-Asian cast, and shows us that Disney is continuing to invest in diversity.



    Monica Castillo is a writer for The Lily.
    The next big question is 'who is the fight choreographer?' Please let it be Sammo...
    Gene Ching
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  10. #25
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    Li Shang out

    Meh. I don't care about Li Shang. I wonder about Mu-Shu and Cri-Kee.

    Mulan fans mourn Li Shang's alleged removal from live-action Disney remake
    A circulating casting call sees the fan favourite replaced with a new love interest
    Clarisse Loughrey @clarisselou 3 hours ago
    The Independent Culture


    Disney

    Mulan fans have approached Disney's live-action remake with a (rightful) amount of suspicion.

    There was a small furore over the revelation the original's songs would be cut - meaning no one would be making a man out of anyone - with concerns now being raised over a circulating casting call that sees the deletion of a beloved character.

    Although, to be fair, we're still unsure as to the fate of Mushu, it also appears that Li Shang may have been erased from the remake: Mulan's commander and eventual love interest, who's particularly notable as many interpretations of the film code the character as bisexual.

    Shang is shown clearly to possess a growing affection for Ping (Mulan disguised as a man in order to join the army), one not reserved for the rest of the soldiers, with the film definitely slotting in a few stolen glances between the pair. And his shock when she eventually reveals her true identity suggests he had no clue as to her disguise.

    His character has now been reportedly replaced, according to the circulating casting call, with one Chen Honghui; a fellow recruit who becomes Ping's rival, but only falls for her once she reveals that she's a woman.

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

    nerdy
    @nerdyasians
    saddened to report it’s basically been confirmed that li shang will not be in the live-action mulan.

    the mulan casting call has been confirmed to be accurate. donnie yen was cast as “commander tung,” who is in the description for “chen honghui.”

    rest in peace bisexual icon.

    8:24 AM - Apr 16, 2018
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    Which certainly seems to suggest that the film is not only ejecting a key character of the original, but also erasing a good chunk of its queer subtext. People are, unsurprisingly, not happy about this revelation.

    princess mizzy 🌹
    @hellomizzyy
    i’m disgusted. disney is obviously still mad they accidentally made li shang bisexual, so they’re REMOVING ANY POSSIBILITY that “chen” is seen as bisexual. they make it clear he HATES mulan the whole time she’s presenting male. he bullies her up until he finds out she’s a woman. https://twitter.com/nerdyasians/stat...01721678303233

    8:53 AM - Apr 16, 2018
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    gabi
    @harleivy
    disney when they realized they accidentally made li shang bisexual by having him fall in love with mulan while he thought she was a boy and that there's nothing they can say now to deny it or change that fact

    12:11 PM - Apr 12, 2018
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    estefany -9
    @brookIynmarvel
    since li shang THE bisexual king will not be in the mulan live action and instead they're introducing that new problematic character that bullies her up until he finds out she's a woman i don't care about it anymore and i hope it flops

    6:51 PM - Apr 16, 2018
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    Furthermore, Mulan will now be trained by Commander Tung, played by Ip Man and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Donnie Yen. Niki Caro – of Whale Rider and The Zookeeper's Wife fame - will direct, with Yifei Liu already cast as the titular hero.

    Influential producer Bill Kong will act as executive producer, having previously worked on various hits, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and Monster Hunt.

    Mulan reaches cinemas in 2020.
    I never really picked up on the bisexual vibe of Li Shang before. Not sure why I overlooked that. Maybe because Ping was so overtly female, despite the cross-dressing. These new sexual politics are so confusing...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  11. #26
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    Utkarsh Ambudkar & Ron Yuan

    Good for Ron Yuan. I've been wondering what would be next for him.

    ‘Mulan’: Utkarsh Ambudkar & Ron Yuan Added To Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation
    by Amanda N'Duka
    May 23, 2018 1:55pm


    Rex/Shutterstock

    EXCLUSIVE: Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project, Pitch Perfect) and Ron Yuan (Netflix’s Marco Polo) have come aboard the Niki Caro-directed live-action adaptation of Disney’s Mulan, which has Chinese actress Liu Yifei set to play the title role.

    Based on the studio’s 1998 animated feature, which was based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the pic follows the rise of Mulan during the Han Dynasty when this daughter of a legendary warrior impersonates a man to fight against a Hun invasion.

    Ambudkar will play Skatch, a con artist, while Yuan is the fiercely loyal Sergeant Qiang, second in command of the Imperial Regiment.

    Jason Reed, Chris Bender, and Jake Weiner producing, with Bill Kong serving as executive producer. Disney recently pushed the film’s release date back by two years from this coming November to March 27, 2020.


    Ambudkar, repped by Gersh, 3 Arts Entertainment, and attorney Jackoway Tyerman, can be seen this summer in Blindspotting, which will be released via Summit Entertainment.

    Repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, EWA, and attorney Linda Lichter, Yuan’s film credit includes The Accountant with Ben Affleck and Independence Day: Resurgence opposite Liam Hemsworth.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #27
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    Chen Honghui

    JUNE 06, 2018 9:00am PT by Rebecca Ford
    Disney Casts 'Mulan' Love Interest (Exclusive)


    Andi Crown
    Yoson An

    Yoson An, from New Zealand, will play Chen Honghui in Disney's live-action movie.

    Disney's Mulan has cast Mulan's love interest: Yoson An, who hails from New Zealand.

    The rising star, who is of Chinese descent, will star opposite Liu Yifei (also known as Crystal Liu), who is playing the titular heroine Hua Mulan, who disguises herself as a man in order to spare her elderly father from having to join the military.

    An will play Chen Honghui, a confident and ambitious recruit who joins Commander Tung’s unit. He becomes Mulan's most important ally and eventual love interest. (This character differs from Li Shang, the Chinese army captain who was the main love interest in the animated film.)

    Disney has made good on its plan to cast a primarily Chinese cast for their new film. The live-action movie already has several big Chinese names onboard, including Jet Li, who is playing the emperor of China, and Gong Li, who is playing the story's main villain, a poweful witch. Donnie Yen also has signed on to play Mulan's mentor, Commander Tung.

    Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively report that Chum Ehelepola has been cast in the role of Ramtish, who, along with Utkarsh Ambudkar's Skatch, are a con-artist duo in the film. The actor’s previous credits include Netflix’s Lady Dynamite, AMC’s Lodge 49 and Crackle's Sequestered. Ehelepola is repped by TCA Mgmt, Affirmative Entertainment, Mollison Keightley Management and Bloom Hergott.

    Niki Caro is directing the film, which is set for a March 27, 2020, release. It is slated to start shooting in August in China and New Zealand.

    Disney's 1998 animated Mulan, voice-starring Ming-Na Wen alongside Eddie Murphy and B.D. Wong, took in $304.3 million at the global box office and also earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.

    Playing Chen Honghui will likely be a breakout role for An, whose previous credits include the HBO Asia series Grace and the upcoming shark thriller The Meg. He also will be seen in Universal’s Mortal Engines, which is set to hit theaters in December. An is repped by Auckland Actors in New Zealand and Silver Lining Entertainment.
    The character differs because he's a recruit and not a captain? okaaaaay
    Gene Ching
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  13. #28
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    Jason Scott Lee

    JULY 25, 2018 4:39pm PT by Rebecca Sun
    Disney's 'Mulan' Adds Jason Scott Lee (Exclusive)


    Brie Childers

    The 'Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story' alum will play a villainous warrior leader in the live-action remake.

    Jason Scott Lee is going from playing Bruce Lee to a villainous Khan, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.

    The American actor, who is of Chinese and Hawaiian descent, has joined Disney's live-action Mulan as Bori Khan, a warrior leader who is intent on avenging his father's death. He joins Gong Li on the antagonists' side, while the heroine's (Liu Yifei) team includes Donnie Yen, relative New Zealand newcomer Yoson An and Marco Polo's Ron Yuan. Jet Li, Pitch Perfect's Utkarsh Ambudkar, New Zealand actress Xana Tang and comic actor Chum Ehelepola round out the cast.

    Jason Reed, Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and executive producer Bill Kong are producing the Niki Caro-helmed film, scheduled for a March 27, 2020 release. Executives Tendo Nagenda and Jessica Virtue are overseeing the production for Disney.

    Lee is no stranger to Disney, having starred as Mowgli in Buena Vista's 1994 live-action The Jungle Book and voiced a character in 2002's animated Lilo & Stitch. But he may be best known for portraying the lead in Universal's 1993 biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. His recent credits include Netflix's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and indie film Burn Your Maps, starring Vera Farmiga and Jacob Tremblay.

    Lee is represented by Untitled Entertainment and attorney Geoff Oblath of Jackoway Austen.
    I always thought JSL was too thick bodied for the role of both Bruce Lee and Mowgli (never mind that Mowgli was Indian). But he could be good in this.
    Gene Ching
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I never really picked up on the bisexual vibe of Li Shang before. Not sure why I overlooked that. Maybe because Ping was so overtly female, despite the cross-dressing. These new sexual politics are so confusing...
    I never got that vibe, either. Although I've seen so many kung fu movies where, just because a female character dresses like a man, everybody (or almost everybody) thinks she's a man. One movie that comes to mind where the ruse does not work is the 1980 film Super Power, starring Billy Chong (a.k.a., Willy Dozan). His character isn't fooled at all by the girl dressed as a guy. Maybe the idea of a cross-dressing female character in a movie is considered revolutionary or whatever to the LGBT community, but it wasn't anything unusual in older KF films, and it did not necessarily indicate the character was gay or bi.

    I wonder when American filmmakers will make a movie with an all-Asian cast that isn't limited to Chinese and Chinese characters (to appeal to the mainland China market) or Indian (to appeal to the India and Bollywood-loving market). In Hollywood, 'all-Asian' actually means 'all-Chinese (or Indian)'.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 07-26-2018 at 09:07 AM.

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    cross dressing

    Cross dressing happens a lot in historic theater, like Shakespeare, too. I guess it was harder to tell back then? It's a fairly common historic theatrical device, but this may be fallout from the fact that in a lot of renaissance-period theater, only men were allowed to perform. This happens in both Europe and Asia. Women were thought to be too prurient for stage, or some nonsense like that back stage.

    I totally hear you about Asians in Hollywood, Jimbo. I think we're starting to see Asians cast in 'normal' roles, meaning it's not all about their Asian-ness. For example (and I may be mistaken on this because I don't really watch this show) Ming-Na Wen in AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. plays a role that doesn't rely on her being Asian. In contrast, The Big Bang Theory's Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) plays to Indian stereotypes, sometimes even with borderline derogatory parody.
    Gene Ching
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