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Mulan live-action remake: everything we know about the film

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Hollie Richardson
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Disney Mulan remake

The final trailer for Disney’s Mulan has landed ahead of the film’s premiere next month. Here’s everything we know about the live-action remake so far. 

So, we were very excited when the first trailer for the live-action Mulan dropped during the Women’s World Cup final earlier this summer. And again, when the second trailer, which features a song from the original film, dropped last month.

The final official trailer was released during the Super Bowl, giving us our last indication of what to expect from the live-action remake before the film premieres.

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In the final trailer, we see Mulan readying herself for battle against the film’s reimagined villains, including Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee), a Hun leader similar to the original’s evil Shan Yu, and Xian Lang (Gong Li), the shapeshifting witch who fights alongside Khan.

Watch the newest Mulan trailer

Before continuing, we have to break it to you that the remake has no sing-along songs from the original 1998 animation. We’re also sad to say that talking dragon Mushu, previously played by Eddie Murphy, won’t be making an appearance in the remake. 

This means that the live-action film has a more serious feel, but still has all the drama and excitement. Also, Mulan is perhaps the most kick-ass female Disney character written, so we’re 100% on-board even if the remake doesn’t include I’ll Make a Man Out of You (despite it being so darn catchy). 

To recap: Mulan is based on the legendary Chinese warrior Hua Mulan from the Ballad of Mulan. She is the only child of ageing warrior Fa Zhou, constantly questioning the sexist expectations of her. When the empire is targeted in a Hun invasion, Mulan takes her father’s place during a general conscription and soon proves herself to be an agile warrior, skilled strategist, and true hero of China. Hurrah! 

Watch the second Mulan trailer

Listen closely and you’ll hear a very familiar song. Yes, an orchestral cover of Reflection, which Lea Salonga sang in the 1998 version, plays throughout the trailer. This means that it is part of the film’s score. And that’s not all. Although General Li isn’t in the film to sing I’ll Make a Man Out of You, he is replaced by Commander Tung who gives a nod to the song by telling his soldiers: “I will make men out of every single one of you.”

Fans have, unsurprisingly, gone wild for the inclusion of Reflection in the trailer. 

Who stars in Disney’s Mulan live-action remake?

The all-Asian cast features Liu Yifei in the lead role. Donnie Yen will play Mulan’s mentor, Commander Tung. Jason Scott Lee stars as Hun leader Böri Khan, Yoson An is potential love interest Cheng Honghui, Gong Li is the witch Xianniang and Jet Li as the emperor of China. 

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Why is Captain Li Shang not in the live-action remake?

Captain Li Shang stole out hearts in the animated film but while the Disney heartthrob didn’t make the cut for the live-action, it’s not all bad news.

Li Shang’s character has been split into two characters: Commander Tung (Donnie Yen), Mulan’s mentor and surrogate father, and Honghui (Yoson An), Mulan’s equal in the squad, producer Jason Reed told Collider.

And there’s a pretty good reason for it. Reed explained: “I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate.”

Though, according to the producer, it’s not love at first sight for Mulan and Honghui. “They start off on the wrong foot, really,” he said. “As they progress through the training together, they kind of have this unspoken bond about it because they recognise each other’s warrior spirit. That’s how they kind of build their friendship up to begun with, through the training and acknowledging each other.”

You could say that Honghui is the post-#MeToo friendly version of Li Shang.

Mulan: her love interest will be an equal in the live-action remake

Who is directing Disney’s Mulan remake?

Niki Caro is the fourth woman in history to helm a live-action film with a budget over $100 million.The Whale Rider director has adapted a screenplay written by Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.

When is Disney’s Mulan released?

Although originally set for a 2018 release, Disney has now confirmed that the film will be released on 27 March 2020. 

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Images: Disney

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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