Disney's string of live-action updates of its classic properties is now in full swing, building off of the recent successes of movies like Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book. One of the most exciting projects on the horizon Niki Caro's Mulan, which will take the China-based adventure and update into the real world. There's much anticipation surrounding the look and feel of the movie, and now we have our first official look at Liu Yifei as the titular heroine -- and she looks absolutely badass. Check out the new image, below!
Pretty awesome, right? Liu Yifei embodies the spirit of Mulan in that photo, balancing the strength, femininity, and intensity of the character. We still don't know anything about her actual performance as the character in the movie, but this first-look is an enticing tease that (at the very least) seems to assure us that the movie will go all in on a badass version of Mulan who knows how to hold her own in a fight.
This first-look at Niki Caro's Mulan only becomes even more impressive when we consider just how closely it lines up with the source material. Her form with the sword is nearly identical to that of her animated counterpart, which seems to show that the folks behind this live-action adaptation have really done their homework on the material. Check out a shot from the 1998 film for the sake of comparison.
As mentioned earlier, Mulan is an update (albeit with some notable changes made) of the beloved Disney animated film (plus an actual Chinese folktale) about a young woman who masquerades as a man in the Chinese army in order to protect her ailing father from a military draft. This takes her on a perilous journey to train in the army and battle an invading Hun army, and become a hero despite complicated cultural gender politics. In addition to Liu Yifei, Niki Caro's Mulan has enlisted a mostly Asian supporting cast that includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Donnie Yen, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny's Jason Scott Lee, and Lethal Weapon 4's Jet Li.