Mulan cast Donnie Yen

The coolness factor of Disney’s live-action Mulan has just increased considerably. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Donnie Yen has joined the live-action Mulan cast as a mentor to Mulan.

Donnie Yen is ready to get down to business. The actor has joined the cast of Disney’s live-action Mulan, alongside star Liu Yifei. Whale Rider director Niki Caro will helm the film, which will re-adapt Disney’s 1998 animated musical. The Hollywood Reporter confirms Yen will be playing a character named Commander Tung, who serves as a mentor to Mulan. Yen’s character doesn’t appear in the original animated musical, indicating Disney isn’t approaching Mulan the same way they approached their live-action Beauty and the Beast, which was essentially a scene-for-scene remake of the animated film.

Adding Yen to the cast is a great move, because he has a way of elevating any film he’s in. He’s even great in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, for crying out loud. This is also yet another Disney outing for Yen, who also appeared in Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Mulan is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a young woman who posed as a man to go to war in her father’s place. The 1998 film featured the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer, and BD Wong, and included some killer songs, like this one!

I’ll Make A Man Out Of You

Of the live-action take on the material, director Niki Caro previously said:

“I haven’t started yet so I can’t give you any real detail. But the budget and the location and the story is offering such scope to me for [an] incredible, muscular piece of girly martial arts extravaganza in China. And I can’t wait.”

Mulan is yet another live-action remake for Disney, who have fully embraced the idea of dipping into their vault and dusting off their classics. After Tim Burton’s Alice in WonderlandRobert Stromberg’s Maleficent and Kenneth Branagh’s Alice in Wonderland cleaned up at the box office, Disney realized there was gold in them there live-action remake hills.

Since then, they’ve released live-action remakes of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. On the horizon, Disney has live-action remakes of Peter PanDumboThe Lion King (which isn’t quite live-action, since it’ll feature mostly CGI creatures), AladdinPinocchio, Lady and the Tramp, and The Sword in the Stone. And then there are the films that will serve as sequels to their animated movies, like Christopher Robin and Prince Charming. There are probably more I’m forgetting. In fact, Disney probably announced ten more as I was typing this.

The live-action Mulan was originally set to open in 2018, but the release date was pushed to 2020. Mulan will now hit theaters March 27, 2020.

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