Mulan is an American war drama adventure film directed by Niki Caro with a screenplay by Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a live-action reimagining of Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name, itself an adaptation of the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. The film stars Liu Yifei as the eponymous character. It was originally set to be released on March 27, 2020 until it was pushed back to April 23, 2021 at Disney+ "half" original due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Liu Yifei as Mulan, the daughter of an aging war veteran who disregards both tradition and the law by disguising herself as a man in order to enlist herself in the Imperial Regiment in place of her ailing father.
- Yoson An as Chen Honghui, a confident and ambitious recruit who joins Commander Tung's unit. He becomes Mulan's most important ally and eventual love interest.
- Jason Scott Lee as Bori Khan, a warrior leader allied with a powerful witch, who is intent on avenging his father's death.
- Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, a mentor and teacher to Mulan. He leads a unit in the Imperial Regiment.
- Gong Li as a powerful witch.
- Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang, the loyal, second-in-command of the Imperial Regiment.
- Jet Li as the Emperor of China, a benevolent ruler of China who orders the mobilization of troops via the conscription of one male from each household to fight the witch's army.
- Jimmy Wong as Ling, a soldier in Commander Tung’s unit and friend of Chen
- Doua Moua as Po, a soldier in Commander Tung’s unit and friend of Chen
- Utkarsh Ambudkar as Skath, a con artist and friend of Ramtish.
- Chum Ehelepola as Ramtish, a con artist and friend of Skath.
- Xana Tang as Mulan's sister
Production[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
Walt Disney Pictures expressed interest in a live-action and 3D adaptation of Mulan starring international star Zhang Ziyi, with Chuck Russell chosen as the director. The film was originally planned to start filming on October 2010, but was canceled. On March 30, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney was developing a live-action adaptation of 1998 animated film Mulan with Chris Bender and J.C. Spink producing while Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek would be writing the screenplay. On October 4, 2016, it was announced that Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver would rewrite the script, combining the Chinese ballad and the 1998 animated film, while Jason Reed would be producing the film along with Chris Bender and Jake Weiner. Since the original script featured non-Chinese characters, including a white male lead, which got some disagreements from the people, Disney promised that Mulan and all primary characters will remain Chinese in the new script which Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver rewrote. In February 2017, Bill Kong was reported joining as an executive producer.
Casting[edit | edit source]
Since several recent Hollywood films were accused of whitewashing, Mulan has been under intense scrutiny since The Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney is making a live-action retelling of Mulan. An online petition titled "Tell Disney You Don't Want A Whitewashed Mulan!" rereceived more than 100,000 signatures. On October 4, 2016, Disney announced that a global search for a Chinese actress to portray the title role was underway. On November 29, 2017, Chinese American actress Liu Yifei was cast in the film to portray the titular role of Mulan. A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role with criteria that required credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak clear English and, lastly, star quality. Many celebrated this as a win for diversity in Disney films. In April 2018, Donnie Yen, Gong Li, Jet Li, and Xana Tang joined the cast. In May 2018, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Ron Yuan joined the cast. In June 2018, Yoson An and Chum Ehelepola joined the cast. In July 2018, Jason Scott Lee joined the cast. In August 2018, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Jimmy Wong and Doua Moua joined the cast.
Director[edit | edit source]
Disney was trying to find an Asian director in the beginning. Disney first considered Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director, two times Academy Award winner for Best Director. The Hollywood Reporter mentioned that Lee was approached but passed on October 12, 2016. According to the report by The Hollywood Reporter, published on November 22, 2016, he said that seeing an Asian director helming the film would be great. But he had to pass because he was still obliged to promote Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, a film which Lee helmed. After Lee passed, Disney met with Jiang Wen before, on February 14, 2017, Niki Caro was hired as the director of the film, which made Mulan the second Disney movie helmed by a female director with budget over $100 million.
Filming[edit | edit source]
Principal production commenced on August 13, 2018 at different locations in New Zealand and China.
Release[edit | edit source]
Mulan was originally scheduled to be released on March 27, 2020.
For the U.S., the movie will premiere on Disney+ on April 23, 2021 as a pay-per-view movie. It will have a theatrical release in internationally markets where Disney+ is not available. The move to a new release model was described as a "one-off" rather than a "new business windowing model".
Critical Reception[edit | edit source]
Mulan received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, The film has a score of 74% based on 282 reviews with an average score of 6.79/10. However, the audience and fan response has been highly negative.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Videos[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Mulan on IMDb
- Mulan at Box Office Mojo
- Mulan at Rotten Tomatoes
- Mulan at Metacritic
- Mulan at AllMovie
- Mulan Official Website
References[edit | edit source]
- "‘Mulan’ to Premiere on Disney Plus as Streamer Surpasses 60.5 Million Subscribers", Variety, August 4, 2020