Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Gong Li, Jet Li join Disney's 'Mulan'

Gong Li, Jet Li join Disney's 'Mulan'

Loosely based on a Chinese story, Mulan is set during Imperial China during an invasion by the Huns.

News has it that the film has just cast three major actors, and they will be in the form of Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha), Donnie Yen (Rogue One), and Jet Li. In order to spare her aging father from going into war, Mulan (Liu Yifei) dons his armor and assumes the identity of a man in order to fight to save her country, becoming a national hero in the process.

The original animated feature of Mulan, released in 1998, grossed US$304.3 million worldwide. Perhaps that will change in this telling?

For "Mulan", Gong Li will be portraying the film's new villain, a powerful witch. 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. In addition, Chinese-Vietnamese actress Xana Tang has been cast as Mulan's sister, which will be an entirely new role for this movie.

Mulan is only the latest in a series of live-action remakes of Disney animated classics, following the studio's success with such films as Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book.

Liu Yifei will take on the role of Mulan, after the Hollywood Reporter said she was picked out of almost 1,000 candidates! Aside from Jet Li, none of these actors are hugely known in America, but many are famous in the Chinese market, which will be even more important for this film than most.

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