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Plan for new Mulan ignites social media

(China Daily)    10:07, August 17, 2018

Actress Liu Yifei strikes a martial pose for the upcoming movie Mulan. STEPHEN TILLEY/DISNEY

Mulan, the legendary ancient Chinese heroine who gained worldwide fame from a 1998 Disney animated movie, is trending again on the internet.

Disney announced on Monday that production has begun on a live-action version of the animated classic Mulan. The studio also released the first look at Chinese actress Liu Yifei in the title role.

She has been cast as a fifth-century Chinese girl who dressed up as a man and joined the army, taking her father's place, according to an ancient poem.

The sneak peek, featuring Liu in classic red outfits holding a sword, generated anticipation among Mulan fans.

"She looks perfect for Mulan! I love the movie and all the liveaction remake Disney has made, so I have high hopes with this," Karina, a Scottish gamer and artist, said on Twitter.

However, some of Disney's adaptations have met with resistance.

One such case is replacing Li Shang-an original main character and Mulan's army commander, who developed a romantic relationship with her-with new character Chen Honghui.

Instead of being a general like Li, Chen is portrayed as an ambitious recruit who joins the same troop as Mulan. He also becomes Mulan's ally and love interest. New Zealand actor Yoson An was cast as Chen.

"He (Li Shang) is literally the other leading character," Sam Rocco replied to a Disney tweet.

Other adaptations include possibly moving away from making it as a musical (the animated version featured many classic songs) and dropping some favorite characters like Mushu, a tiny dragon who was Mulan's closest companion.

In April word leaked out that the film would not keep the original musical scores, but while director Niki Caro clarified days later that there would be music, fans were still worried that some signature songs would be missing.

"Also, Liu Yifei is actually a very talented singer," wrote Twitter user DML897, who also hoped Disney would keep the songs and storyline unchanged.

While many fans are urging Disney to adhere to the classic, some were delighted with the images of Mulan in modern settings released by Disney.

Twitter user Hannah said she "is still going to watch the live action" version, though she was miffed that Disney made changes.

Mulan also features other well-known Chinese actors, including Donnie Yen and Jet Li, both famous action movie stars, and Gong Li, one of the best-known Chinese actresses.

The live-action version of Mulan is being filmed in China and New Zealand and is set for release in March 2020.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Du Mingming, Liang Jun)

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