You guys. Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Disney’s Mulan first hit theatres? Debuting on June 19, 1998, the movie instantly set itself apart from Disney’s long list of fairytales. No longer was the lead female a damsel in distress. Mulan embarked on her own adventure that resulted in her saving her family and her country of China, while at the same time teaching young girls that they are more than capable of creating their own destiny. Now, two decades later, Disney is remaking the iconic film, but some of the details may be somewhat different than what we remember.
— Disney (@Disney) August 13, 2018
Set with a *new* release date of March 27, 2020 and an exclusive first look at New Zealand-born Liu Yifei as Mulan, the reboot’s main storyline will largely resemble that of the original. The story will focus on the journey of Hua Mulan as she disguises herself as a male warrior to save her elderly father. That is where the familiarity ends, though, as Disney has decided to incorporate some *pretty* big changes to the new flick, including the addition (and elimination) of key characters—and even the introduction of brand new villain.
Here, everything you can expect from Disney’s remake of Mulan.
Mulan will have a new love interest
Earlier this month, it was announced that New Zealand actor Yoson An will take on the role of Chen Honghui, who—according to Variety—will be playing a “confident” military recruit…and Mulan’s eventual love interest. Yep, you read that right. Li Shang, a.k.a. the handsome army captain that captured our girl (and our own) hearts in the original flick has been bumped for a newbie. Understandably, fans were pretty peeved at the news, with some even claiming that Disney deliberately replaced Shang—who has been called a “bisexual icon“—for a notably straighter character.
i’m disgusted. disney is obviously still mad they accidentally made li shang bisexual, so they’re REMOVING ANY POSSIBILITY that “chen” is seen as bisexual. they make it clear he HATES mulan the whole time she’s presenting male. he bullies her up until he finds out she’s a woman. https://t.co/vsj5B9uDGp
— princess mizzy (@hellomizzyy) April 16, 2018
Mulan will have a sister
Xana Tang—a Chinese-Vietnamese actor born in New Zealand—will be playing the role of Mulan’s sister. As Mulan was an only child in the 1998 original, the addition of a sibling should add a new dimension to the remake. Disney has kept the deets on the DL, though, so we’re not sure how large of a role Tang’s character will play in the main storyline.
The villain will be a witch
Remember Shan Yu, leader of the invading Hun Army whose bright yellow eyes and fiendish smile was the very thing of childhood nightmares? As it turns out, he’s been replaced by a brand new, very Disney-esque villain. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s primary antagonist will be played by well-known Chinese actor Gong Li. Not much has been released about the character, but she is said to be a “very powerful witch.” Way to be cryptic AF, Disney.
It may (or may not) be a musical
In March 2017, the director Niki Caro told Moviefone that the upcoming film would *not* be a musical. “From what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children,” she said. After her comments sparked internet outrage from fans, Caro clarified her comments to THR two weeks later. “The live-action is based on that inspirational Chinese ballad and on the animated Disney classic,” she said. “We’re still exploring the role that music’s going to play in it, but for sure there will be music.” Since then, we haven’t heard any news about new songs, but all we can do is cross our fingers that “Reflection” and “Make a Man Out of You” will both make a comeback.
Mushu and Cricket are *currently* MIA
OK, so this one isn’t set in stone yet, but with all the new character changes, it’s a little worrisome that there hasn’t been any announcements regarding our beloved scene-stealing dragon Mushu, or Mulan’s adorable lucky charm, Cricket. However, with a release date 21 months from now, we still have a *ton* of time to find out.
Mulan’s soldier buddies are back
Well, 2 out of 3 at least! Disney has already announced the casting for Ling and Po, two of Mulan’s fellow army recruits who start out hating her, and by the end, are BFFs 4 lyf. Jimmy Wong, who you might know from his web series Video Game High School, will play Ling, and actor and screenwriter Doua Moua has landed the role of Po. No word yet on whether the third member of the comic relief trio, Yao (the one with the moustache), will be in this remake.