News seems to be fast-tracking this week for Walt Disney Pictures amid the current progress toward reviving the studio’s animated gender-bending classic, Mulan.
Following the addition of international action star and actor Donnie Yen for the role of Commander Tang on Wednesday, three new names are now circling the live-action production: International action star Jet Li (Hero, The Expendables Trilogy), distinguished actress Gong Li (Curse Of The Golden Flower, Miami Vice, The Monkey King 2) and New Zealand actress Xana Tang (Filthy Rich, Dead Lucky).
As Rebecca Sun’s exclusive at The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday confirms, Jet Li is in final talks to play the Emperor of China. The report also cites at least two moves signaling departures from the Barry Cook/Tony Bancroft-directed 1998 film, highlighting actress Li for the role of a powerful witch, and actress Tang who will play Mulan’s sister.
Actress Crystal Liu is headlining the cast as production readies for an August start ahead of a March 27, 2020 release with Whale Rider helmer Niki Caro directing. Succeeding from its folkloric roots, Mulan tells of a young girl who seizes her ailing father’s armor and conscription to serve in his place when the emperor enlists one male from each household, at a time when women performing any duties other than the confines at home was considered taboo and strictly forbidden.
Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin are penning the script. Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner are producing with Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, Rise Of A Legend, Monster Hunt) executive producing.
Jet Li is repped by Current Entertainment and Bloom Hergott while Gong Li is repped by ICM, and Xana Tang is repped by Gail Cowan Management and Cunningham Escott Slevin & Doherty (CESD).