Announcements have poured out quick ever since Disney tapped Niki Caro to helm a live-action adaptation of the beloved 1998 animated film “Mulan,” with the film pinned for a March 2020 release.
Lee is the latest addition to the Mulan team. He will play Bori Khan, a warrior who joins forces with Gong Li’s antagonist to avenge his father’s death. Lee starred as the adult Mowgli in the 1994 live-action adaptation of “The Jungle Book” opposite “Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey. In 2002, Lee lent his voice to “Lilo and Stitch” as David. Lee was also recently seen exercising his martial arts skills in Netflix’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.”
Leading the cast as Mulan is China’s “Fairy Sister” Liu Yifei, one of the most popular young actresses in her native country. Liu speaks fluent English, having spent time in New York as a kid, and is no stranger to martial arts films — she held her own alongside veteran stars Jet Li and Jackie Chan in “The Forbidden Kingdom. The experience allowed her to showcase martial prowess befitting the titular woman warrior.
In a divergence from the original 1998 film, Yoson An will be playing Chen Honghui, Mulan’s love interest who is replacing Captain Li Shang. An hails from New Zealand and is a relative newcomer to the scene. An appeared in minor roles in films such as the upcoming giant shark thriller “The Meg” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.”
Martial arts movie star Donnie Yen will play Commander Tung, Mulan’s mentor and teacher in what will be his second Disney film after 2017’s “Rogue One.” Jet Li also joined the lineup as the Emperor of China, reuniting him with his “Forbidden Kingdom” co-star, Liu Yifei.
Gong Li’s role as the main antagonist is also new and unique to the “Mulan” live-action remake. Li is a veteran Chinese actress who made her acting debut in Zhang Yimou’s “Red Sorghum” and went on to collaborate with Zhang on other projects and has starred in award-winning films such as “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “2046.”