After much anticipation, as well as a five-continent search for their titular star, Disney has officially begun production on their live-action remake of Mulan. They celebrated the milestone online this morning by posting the first image from the movie — actor Liu Yifei looking like an absolute badass while holding a double-edged Chinese straight sword.
— Disney (@Disney) August 13, 2018
The still, which has garnered over 10,000 comments and 28,000 likes in less than a day, seems to show the slightly darker and more serious tone of the movie, which we also know will not feature the original film's comedic sidekick, the dragon Mushu (Eddie Murphy). It also shows that Yifei is the perfect person for this starring role, in which a young girl goes to war in ancient China in order to save her ailing dad from dying in battle.
Yifei was chosen out of over 1,000 actors for the part. The 30-year-old actor, who grew up in both China and the United States, has been acting, modeling and singing since she was a teen and is already well-known overseas. Known as "fairy sister" for her sweet image, she's expected to armor up and kick butt in what director Niki Caro (The Zookeeper's Wife) has called a "girly martial arts extravaganza."
While we only have this single still from the production, we do know a good deal about the film, which has a tentative March 7, 2020 release date. In addition to Yifei, the cast includes Jet Li (Hero) as the emperor, Donnie Yen (Rogue One) as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee (Lilo and Stitch) as the villain and Yoson An as Mulan's love interest.
The screenplay was written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin along with husband-and-wife team Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who are well-known for their work on blockbusters like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World.
The reboot is being filmed in both China and New Zealand and won't include musical numbers, though there will be a score.
Caro also shared an image on social media on the first day of production along with the message, "Mulan. Day #1. Reflections," which references the popular song from the original movie.
It's unclear where this image originates, but we are super-excited!
The original Mulan was released in 1998 and grossed over $300 million worldwide in addition to a Oscar nomination for best film.