Disney's recent live action adaptations of its classic animated movies have varied between being relatively straightforward remakes to being significantly different than the original movie. From what's been revealed about the upcoming live action Mulan, it will definitely fall into the latter category. Aside from Mulan herself, the main lineup of characters looks nothing like it did in the 1998 movie, and today brings word that we won't even be getting a new version of Li Shang. Instead, actor Yoson An has been cast to play a new character who will serve as Mulan's love interest.
According to THR, Yoson An, who has acted in projects like Ghost Bride, Flat3, Grace and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, will play Chen Honghui, a confident and ambitious recruit in Commander Tung's unit. As the story progresses, he will become Mulan's most important ally, and from there, her love interest. This is in contrast with Li Shang, who in the animated movie was Mulan's captain, although there was a clear attraction between the two at the end of the story. While Yoson An will appear later this year in the Jason Statham-led blockbuster The Meg and the Peter Jackson-produced Mortal Engines, Mulan sounds like it will be the project that introduces him to the most moviegoers, with Chen Hognhui potentially delivering his breakthrough performance.
The basic premise of the live action Mulan movie remains the same as its animated predecessor: the eponymous protagonist, played by Liu Yifei, disguises herself as a man and takes her elderly father's place in the military. Other than that, this new Mulan movie will look a lot different from the one that came out two decades ago. Instead of Hun warlord Shan Yu, the main villain will be a powerful witch played by Gong Li. The movie's cast also includes Rogue One star Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Xana Tang as Mulan's sister and Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang, while Utkarsh Ambudkar and Chum Ehehepola will play Skatch and Ramtish, respectively, a con artist duo. In fact, the only other constant from the original Mulan movie is that the Emperor of China will appear, with Jet Li inhabiting the role. In addition to boasting many new characters, it's also possible that the new Mulan movie won't be a musical, although director Niki Caro clarified last year that music will still play an important role.
Mulan will be released in theaters on March 27, 2020. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how the live action adaptation is coming along. In the meantime, you can find out what other animated Disney movies are getting the live action treatment in our handy guide, and you can also peruse our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies arrive later this year.
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