Mulan: Here’s everything you need to know about Disney’s latest live action remake

Let’s get down to business. After months of anticipation, the time has finally come to see Disney’s latest epic, Mulan.

he film will be coming to home screens on Premium Access via Disney+’on September 4 and it looks like we’re all in for a real treat.

With its incredible locations, spectacular sets, thrilling action, compelling characters and gripping storyline, Mulan has got all the makings of a true classic.

Here’s everything you need to know about the film.

What is the live-action Mulan story?

At its core, Mulan will stay true to the legendary tale that we all know and love. A fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known.

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 honoured warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father.

Masquerading as a man, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It’s a familiar tale that will grip audiences right from the start and undoubtedly leave them wanting more.

Is there a trailer for Mulan?

There is indeed and it’s whopper. You can watch the trailer below

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Where can I watch it?

The movie will be available on Disney+ from September 4.

As we all know, Disney+ is the streaming home of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic so it makes sense that one of the biggest releases this year will be shared on the platform.

Subscribers can watch Mulan with Premier Access (€21.99) on the Disney+ website and select platforms. Once you have premier access to Mulan, you can watch the film as many times as you want on any platform where Disney+ is available. And let’s face it, this is a movie you’re going to want to see more than once.

Who directed the film?

Critically-acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker Niki Caro directed Mulan. Caro first gained prominence for her work on Whale Rider in 2002, which was a story about a young Maori girl who aspires to be the chief of her tribe.

It was her expertise and cultural sensitivity that ultimately made Caro the perfect fit for telling a story that is based so deeply in Chinese tradition.

How does the film celebrate Chinese culture?

The film is inspired by the Chinese “Ballad of Mulan”, a centuries old legend that is still popular in China today. As a result, the film is a celebration of the richness of Chinese culture and the power of female strength.

Retelling this story with a modern sensibility didn’t mean abandoning its origins. However, the director was insistent that the film respect the culture from which it springs.

“It’s tremendously important to me in this film, and indeed in all the movies I’ve made, to be thoughtful and respectful of the culture, and to be collaborative,” Caro explains. “Every department of this movie did research into Chinese culture, painting, history and accounts of war.”

Who plays the lead?

Caro was very particular about who would play the movie’s lead. After thousands of auditions, 33-year-old Liu Yifei – a renowned Chinese-American actress, known in China as “Fairy Sister” – was chosen to play the heroine. The casting call asked for someone with “credible martial arts skill” and English language skills so Liu Yifei fits the bill perfectly.

What about the other cast members?

Mulan features a celebrated international cast. Veteran Chinese actor Donnie Yen (Star Wars: Rogue One, Ip Man) plays Mulan’s mentor, Commander Tung while Jet Li (Fearless, The One) takes on the role of The Emperor.

Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Miami Vice) plays the role of Xianniang, a close ally of the film’s villain, Böri Khan played by Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Lilo and Stitch)

Here’s a quick rundown of the other main characters and who plays them.

Utkarsh Ambudkar – con artist Skath

Marco Polo’s Ron Yuan – second in command

Chum Ehelepola – Ramtish, another con-artist

Actor Yoson An – soldier and Mulan’s love interest

Xana Tang – Mulan’s sister

Li Gong – Xian Lang

Rosalind Chao – Hua Lia

Utkarsh Ambudkar – Skatch

Tzi Ma – Hua Zhou

Jimmy Wong – Ling

Yoson An – Chen Honghui

Doua Moua – Po

Roger Yuan – Duba Tegin

Chen Tang – Yao

Where was the film shot?

Some 20 locations in China were used, including Hubei province in central China, the so-called Singing Sand Dunes in the Mingsha Shan Desert and Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, as well as studios in Zhejiang province in eastern China.

Parts of the film were also shot in New Zealand. With so many great locations, we’re excited to see the array of different landscapes within the film.

What can we expect from the fight scenes?

At its heart, Mulan is a tale of war. So, we’re pretty excited to see the epic battle scenes. The filmmakers brought in specialised stunt teams from China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, New Zealand and Australia to make sure that they were world class.

We’re told fight scenes typically involved several lead actors, and an army of 100 extras. The complicated sword work in the film was a type of Wushu style, which is said to be very difficult to master.

Mulan is exclusively available to Disney+ subscribers with Premier Access. Additional fee required. To find out more visit the Disney+ website.


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