Mulan (2020 film)

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Mulan
Mulan holding her sword which foreshadows her male persona as she stares toward the viewer while the film's logo beneath her.
Teaser poster
Directed byNiki Caro
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Starring
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams[1]
CinematographyMandy Walker
Edited byDavid Coulson
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • March 27, 2020 (2020-03-27) (United States)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$290–300 million[2][3]

Mulan is an upcoming American historical war drama film directed by Niki Caro, with the screenplay by Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan and is a live action adaptation of Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name. The film stars Liu Yifei as the eponymous character, alongside Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, and Jet Li in supporting roles.

Plans for a live-action Mulan remake began in 2010, however the project never came to fruition. In March 2015, a new attempt was announced and Caro was hired to direct in February 2017. Liu was cast in the title role in November 2017, following a casting call of 1,000 actresses and the rest of the cast joined over the following year. Filming began in August 2018 and lasted through November, taking place in New Zealand and China.

Mulan is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on March 27, 2020.

Premise[edit]

When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. She is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. Disguised as a man by the name of Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her innermost strength and embrace her true potential.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Walt Disney Pictures expressed interest in a live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated film Mulan starring international star Zhang Ziyi, with Chuck Russell chosen as the director. The film was originally planned to start filming in October 2010, but was canceled.[17] On March 30, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney had restarted development of the live-action adaptation with Chris Bender and J. C. Spink producing, while Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek would be writing the screenplay.[18] On October 4, 2016, it was announced that Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver would rewrite the script, combining the Chinese ballad and the 1998 animated film, while Jason Reed would be producing the film along with Chris Bender and Jake Weiner.[19]

Casting[edit]

Liu Yifei will be playing Mulan in the remake.

Since several recent Hollywood films were accused of whitewashing, Mulan has been under intense scrutiny since The Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney was making a live-action adaptation of Mulan. An online petition titled "Tell Disney You Don't Want A Whitewashed Mulan!" received more than 100,000 signatures.[4] On October 4, 2016, Disney announced that a global search for a Chinese actress to portray the title role was underway.[20] A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role with criteria that required credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak clear English and, lastly, star quality.[21] On November 29, 2017, Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei was cast in the film to portray the titular role of Mulan. Many celebrated this as a win for diversity in Disney films.[4] Further cast announcements for Donnie Yen, Gong Li, Jet Li, and Xana Tang were made in April 2018,[5][8] Utkarsh Ambudkar and Ron Yuan in May,[22] Yoson An and Chum Ehelepola in June,[7] Jason Scott Lee in July,[6] Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Jimmy Wong and Doua Moua in August,[15][23] and Chen Tang in September.[13]

Director[edit]

Disney originally sought an Asian director. Disney first considered Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director and two-time Academy Award winner for Best Director. The Hollywood Reporter mentioned that Lee was approached but declined on October 12, 2016.[24] According to the report, published on November 22, 2016, he said that he would like to see an Asian director leading the film, but he himself had to decline because he was still obliged to promote his film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.[25] Next, Disney met with Jiang Wen for the position; finally on February 14, 2017, Niki Caro was hired as the director of the film, which made Mulan the second Disney film with a female director and a budget above $100 million following A Wrinkle in Time.[26]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on August 13, 2018, at different locations in New Zealand and China and wrapped on November 25, 2018.[27][15] According to actress Gong Li the film's production budget was $290–300 million due to the "massive and...unprecedented scale" of the sets.[2][3]

Post-production[edit]

The visual effects are provided by Sony Pictures Imageworks, Weta Digital, Framestore, and Image Engine, with Seth Maury and Andres Langlands serving as visual effects supervisors and Sean Andrew Faden serving as production supervisor. [28]

Release[edit]

Mulan is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 27, 2020.[29][30] Originally, it had been set for a November 2, 2018, release, and then was pushed back, with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms taking its old slot.[20]

Marketing[edit]

The film's official teaser trailer and the official teaser poster were released on July 7, 2019, during the broadcast of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final.[31] On September 30, an exclusive photo featuring Liu as a soldier in the Imperial Army was released on Empire's upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker issue.[32]

Controversy[edit]

A call to boycott the film began when lead actress, Liu Yifei, reshared an image posted by the state-backed newspaper People's Daily which included a quote from a Chinese reporter for the state-run Global Times, who would not disclose his identity and was subsequently seized by demonstrators during the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests: "I support Hong Kong police. You can beat me now. What a shame for Hong Kong." This sparked international controversy, with Liu being accused of supporting police brutality. The hashtag, #BoycottMulan, has since started trending supporting a boycott of the movie.[33][34][35] As of September 26, 2019, both Liu and Disney have yet to comment on the matter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harry-Gregson-Williams to Score Disney's 'Mulan' Live-Action Movie". Film Music Reporter. Archived from the original on August 24, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Caesar Galvin (May 19, 2019). "Gong Li Claims Live-Action 'Mulan' Budget Is More Than $300 Million". Heroic Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Cameron Bonomolo (May 8, 2019). "Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Budget Makes It One of the Most Expensive Movies Ever Made". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Mulan: Disney casts Chinese actress Liu Yifei in lead role". BBC. November 30, 2017. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Fleming, Jr., Mike (April 11, 2018). "Donnie Yen To Star In Disney's Live Action 'Mulan'". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 12, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "Disney's 'Mulan' Adds Jason Scott Lee". The Hollywood Reporter. July 25, 2018. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d Ford, Rebecca (June 6, 2018). "Disney Casts 'Mulan' Love Interest (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Sun, Rebecca (April 12, 2018). "Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Lands Gong Li, Jet Li (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Kain, Erik (July 7, 2019). "There Are No Talking Dragons Or Singing Generals In This Live-Action 'Mulan' Trailer". Forbes. Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  10. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 23, 2018). "'Mulan': Utkarsh Ambudkar & Ron Yuan Added To Disney's Live-Action Adaptation". Deadline. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Yam, Kimberly (July 10, 2019). "Ming-Na Wen, Voice Of Animated Mulan, Responds To New Teaser". HuffPost. Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  12. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (August 14, 2018). "Disney's 'Mulan' Casts Jimmy Wong & Doua Moua". Deadline. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  13. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (September 21, 2018). "Adrian Martinez Joins Disney's 'Lady and the Tramp'; 'Mulan' Adds Chen Tang". Deadline. Archived from the original on September 21, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  14. ^ Sprague, Mike (July 6, 2019). "Disney's Mulan Remake Trailer Drops This Sunday". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Hipes, Patrick (August 13, 2018). "'Mulan' Rounds Out Cast, Reveals First-Look Photo As Filming Underway On Live-Action Movie". Deadline. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Liptak, Andrew (July 7, 2019). "Watch the first trailer for Disney's live-action remake of Mulan". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  17. ^ "Zhang Ziyi to produce and star in 3D Mulan film". Channel NewsAsia. July 28, 2010. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013.
  18. ^ Ford, Rebecca (March 30, 2015). "Disney Developing Live-Action 'Mulan' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 4, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' to Hit Theaters in November 2018; Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver Rewriting". Variety. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Gets Winter 2018 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. October 4, 2016. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  21. ^ Sun, Rebecca (November 29, 2017). "Disney's 'Mulan' Finds Its Star (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  22. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 23, 2018). "'Mulan': Utkarsh Ambudkar & Ron Yuan Added To Disney's Live-Action Adaptation". Deadline. Archived from the original on May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  23. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (August 14, 2018). "Disney's 'Mulan' Casts Jimmy Wong & Doua Moua". Deadline. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  24. ^ "'Mulan' Mania: Disney, Sony Hunt for Asian Directors to Helm Rival Action Pics". The Hollywood Reporter. October 12, 2016. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  25. ^ "Ang Lee on Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan': "It'd Be Great to See an Asian" Director". The Hollywood Reporter. November 22, 2016. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Finds Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  27. ^ Marc, Christopher (April 12, 2018). "UPDATE: Disney To Begin Shooting 'Mulan' This August In New Zealand and China - Omega Underground". omegaunderground.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ "Mulan - ART OF VFX". www.artofvfx.com. July 8, 2019. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  29. ^ Khatchatourian, Maane (March 1, 2018). "'Mulan' Live-Action Reboot Pushed Back to 2020". Variety. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  30. ^ "Live-Action 'Mulan' Pushed Back More Than a Year to Spring 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. March 1, 2018. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  31. ^ Liptak, Andrew (July 7, 2019). "Watch the first trailer for Disney's live-action remake of Mulan". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  32. ^ Travis, Ben (September 30, 2019). "Mulan Live-Action Remake Taking 'David Lean Or Kurosawa Approach'- Exclusive Image". Empire. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  33. ^ "Soul Searching Among Hong Kong Protesters After Chaos at Airport". The New York Times. August 14, 2019. Archived from the original on August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  34. ^ "Hong Kong protesters call for 'Mulan' boycott after star went public in support of police". CNN. August 16, 2019. Archived from the original on August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  35. ^ "Liu Yifei: Mulan boycott urged after star backs HK police". BBC. August 16, 2019. Archived from the original on August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.

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