Disney’s stable of remakes might not be everyone’s spinning cup of tea, but the studio could never be accused of simply replicating their past efforts. This year alone, people flocked to the multiplex for Will Smith’s blue genie in Aladdin and were both thrilled and weirded out by the photorealistic use of CGI in The Lion King, so it’s no surprise that Disney’s live-action Mulan would also switch things up. So if you’re expecting anything like the ultimately heartwarming and hilarious 1998 animated version, well, you’ll be surprised. Yet if you’re looking for an action-packed take with no room for wisecracks, musical numbers, or a talking dragon, well, 2020 might be your year.
It’s definitely different. Director Niki Caro helms a fully feminist take on the original story about a young woman who steps in for her father as a warrior in the Imperial Army. The trailer’s filled with epic battle scenes and breathtaking cinematography, and Liu Yifei resolutely plays Hua Mulan, who rejects the traditional path of marriage to “bring honor to us all.” From the synopsis:
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. 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.
Disney’s Mulan remake (which also stars Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, and Jet Li) arrives in theaters on March 27. An astonishingly gorgeous and powerful poster has dropped as well.