As evidenced by the new trailer, the live-action version strips away some of the more cartoonish elements of the 1998 animated film — that indestructible bug, the Eddie Murphy-voiced mini-dragon Mushu — for a more grounded story about a teenage girl who joins the Imperial Army under the guise of a young man. Unlike the animated film, the live-action version also features a witch that can transform into a hawk.
“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,” Disney said of the film. “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.”
Yifei Liu portrays Mulan in the Niki Caro-directed remake, due out March 27th, 2020. Jet Li and Rogue One star Donnie Yen also have roles in the film, which drew controversy months before the trailer even arrived over star Yifei Liu’s pro-democracy stance on the Hong Kong protests.
Mulan follows a flood of Disney live-action remakes in recent years, including Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and, this year alone, Dumbo, The Lion King, Aladdin and Disney+’s The Lady and the Tramp. A live-action remake is also planned for The Little Mermaid.