Disney's live-action Mulan has landed two massive Chinese stars, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. When every family in the country is required to send one man into the army, a young woman named Mulan disguises herself in order to prevent her aged father from risking his life on the battlefield. She was also the star of the melodrama "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005), which helped bolster her to worldwide fame.
Li - who has starred in such films as Romeo Must Die and Once Upon A Time In China - is set to star alongside Gong Li in the new adaptation, with the latter set to play the villain of the piece. Indeed, the film has proven controversial given the large number of changes that it seems to be making; the animated film's love interest, Shang Li, will apparently be replaced by a new character as well.
In the upcoming Mulan, slated for release in 2020, Jet Li will be playing the Chinese emperor, while Gong Li and Donnie Yen are set to play the respective new characters of a villainous witch and Mulan's mentor.
Next up is Donnie Yen, who proudly holds the title as one of Hong Kong's biggest action stars. As Disney films went though this was certainly one of the more action-oriented stories, so hopefully they can make use of its magnificent setting and scale to bring these elements to life. Back in China, Yen is best known for his "Ip Man" franchise, a biographical film about Yip Man, the first person to ever teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun. The film will be directed by Niki Caro from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Filming is scheduled to begin in August of this year in China and New Zealand.