The Disney animated film-to-live-action adaptation machine continues to chug along, planning for more potential blockbusters in the coming years with famous flesh-and-blood performers in the formerly animated roles. One of the Disney Canon movies being prepped for full production is an adaptation of 1998’s Mulan, with casting underway even now.
In addition to Chinese actress Liu Yifei in the title role, Disney has decided to take on some heavy star power – Hong Kong-wise – for their Mulan film project by casting actor Donnie Yen. This development also hints at some expansion of the original animation’s plot that the producers have planned.
For Donnie Yen’s part, he will be portraying a new character in the narrative, a military officer named Commander Tung. He’s supposed to be an older mentor figure to Mulan, though whether this is during her time in the army, or before the call to arms, hasn’t yet been determined.
Yen first exploded into international super-stardom when he portrayed Wing Chun master Ip Man in the titular film series. His most recent roles in western cinema include 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and xXx: Return of Xander Cage the following year. He is currently filming Ip Man 4.
Disney’s live-action Mulan adaptation also has prominent names behind the scenes, being executively produced by Hong Kong’s Bill Kong (Chrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero) and directed by Nick Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife). This would be Yen’s second Disney casting following Lucasfilms’ Rogue One, and will premiere on March 2020.