I’ve absorbed a lot of Mulan news this morning. The Hollywood Fringe Festival has been dominating life for the past couple of months so I’ve missed some things. Like the fact that the live-action remake of this animated Disney film will be going the 2015 Cinderella route and NOT be a musical. Okay, I’m going to miss two of my favorite Disney songs “Reflection” and “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You,” but I’m willing to look at the bigger picture and see that hardcore action films don’t exactly lend themselves to characters spontaneously bursting into song.
Next, I learned that Mulan will have a new love interest that isn’t Li Shang and will be going up against a new villain that isn’t Shan Yu. Ummm. Why? Oh and the rumor that Mushu is going to be a phoenix? Now, I love me some mythical birds, but I’m sorry Mushu is a dragon, DRA-GON. Although he may be left out altogether and this phoenix may be something completely different.
So, heading into this trailer I am armed with the knowledge of no music, no Li Shang, no Shan Yu, and no Mushu (at least not in dragon form). Okay, okay I can appreciate that Disney may be aiming to tell a tale that is closer to the original story of Hua Mulan. If that turns out to be the case, I’m totally cool with it. The fact that director Niki Caro has referred to the film as a “girly martial arts extravaganza” causes me to wince a bit, but the trailer looks cool and I’m still hopeful. Especially if there will be instrumentals from the 1998 animated film scattered throughout like the little taste of “Reflection” we get in the teaser. Listen for it near the beginning.
Liu Yifei stars as the titular character and she looks pretty badass. She’ll be riding into battle with Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ron Yuan, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Chum Ehelepola, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Gong Li.
Mulan starts kicking ass (I hope) in theaters March 27, 2020.