Photograph of Jet Li on the cover of The Expendables 2, May 31, 2017 -Tatiana T/Flickr
CAIRO – 14 April 2018: Chinese superstars Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Gong Li are the latest names to be part of the upcoming live-action “Mulan” remake from Disney, slated for a 2020 release.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Jet Li will portray the emperor of China during the Han Dynasty, who rallies up the mandatory conscription of one man from each family in order to defend China from the invading Huns. In order to spare her aging father from going into war, Mulan (Liu Yifei) dons his armor and assumes the identity of a man in order to fight to save her country, becoming a national hero in the process.
Jet Li is one of China's most beloved actors, having shot to fame in his homeland thanks to his martial arts franchises, such as "Shaolin Temple", and gaining international fame with his performance in "Lethal Weapon 4" (1998).
Also hopping on board the project is actress Gong Li, who is considered one of the most beautiful Chinese actresses and won two awards at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in "The Story of Qiu Ju" (1992). She was also the star of the melodrama "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005), which helped bolster her to international fame.
For “Mulan”, Gong Li will be portraying the film's new villain, a powerful witch. This marks a drastic change from the plotline of the animated film, in which the cold-blooded Shan Yu, leader of the Huns, was the antagonist.
Next up is Donnie Yen, who proudly holds the title as one of Hong Kong's biggest action stars. Yen will be portraying Commander Tung, Mulan's mentor. He had previously joined up with Disney to star in "Rogue One" as part of their rebooted Star Wars films. Back in China, Yen is best known for his "Ip Man" franchise, a biographical film about Yip Man, the first person to ever teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun.
Disney's live-action “Mulan” remake will be directed by Niki Caro of 2002's "Whale Rider". Filming is scheduled to begin in August of this year in China and New Zealand.