After stealing the show in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen is lending his fighting skills to Disney once again.
Donnie Yen is starring in Disney’s new Mulan flick
He is set to star in Disney’s new live-action adaptation of Mulan.
The actor will join Chinese actress Crystal Liu Yifei, who was cast in November to play the titular female warrior.
Yen will play Mulan’s mentor, Commander Tung – a role with plenty of chances to show off his considerable martial arts prowess.
Meanwhile, Chinese martial arts star Jet Li is in final talks to play the Chinese emperor, while actress Gong Li is signed on to play the villain.
With a tentative release date of March 27, 2020, the new Mulan is executive-produced by influential Hong Kong producer Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and directed by New Zealander Niki Caro, who made her name with the 2002 film Whale Rider.
Caro’s most recent film is the novel adaptation The Zookeeper’s Wife, starring Jessica Chastain.
The original animated feature of Mulan, released in 1998, grossed US$304.3 million worldwide.
This live-action reboot comes in the wake of Disney’s major successes with other productions in this model, including Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and last year’s Beauty and the Beast.
Yen’s recent collaboration with Disney on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) proved a big hit with both fans and critics. His blind warrior character, Chirrut Imwe, is widely considered a fan favorite from the stand-alone feature.
In the 1998 animated version of Mulan, the female warrior’s mentor was voiced by Asian-American actor B.D. Wong, with singing dubbed by Donnie Osmond,
But in the Cantonese and Mandarin versions of the movie, his character was voiced by martial arts star Jackie Chan – speaking and singing alike.
Here’s hoping Yen will bring the same level of dedication to his role.