Disney has released the very first Mulan teaser trailer, for the studio’s upcoming live-action remake of the beloved 1998 animated film. The story tells the epic adventure of a fearless young woman who masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China. It is of course based on the original Disney movie, but at its foundation the story is based on the narrative poem The Ballad of Mulan.
Niki Caro (Whale Rider) directs this live-action update, which finds Liu Yifei (The Forbidden Kingdom) filling the title role of Hua Mulan and anchoring an entirely Asian ensemble that also includes Jet Li. The film also puts a twist on the story that fans of the previous Disney film know, as the story reimagines the villain as a powerful witch played by Gong Li instead of the Hun invader Shan Yu.
This trailer looks really good. It’s elegant and exciting, and beautifully composed—to the point that it initially doesn’t even look like a Disney remake. That’s probably the best compliment I can pay it at this point. As opposed to something like Aladdin, which is bombastic in its “REMEMBER THE ORIGINAL?” nostalgia, Mulan appears to be really trying to make this story feel fresh, different, and relevant. I love that Disney actually went with an all-Asian cast for this, and Caro appears to have a strong handle in crafting what’s essentially a period epic in the vein of The Last of the Mohicans or Braveheart. So far, so good.
Watch the Mulan teaser trailer below, and for a full list of upcoming live-action Disney remakes, click here. Scripted by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek, the film also stars Donnie Yen (Star Wars: Rogue One); Jason Scott Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny); Yoson An (The Meg); Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect); Ron Yuan(Marco Polo); Tzi Ma (Arrival); Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine); Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon); Nelson Lee and Chum Ehelepola. Mulan opens in theaters on March 27, 2020.
Here’s the official synopsis for Mulan:
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”