While other movies are shutting down due to the COVID-19 coronavirus scare, Disney is moving forward with the late March release of the live-action adaptation of Mulan. The movie follows a young Chinese woman (played by Yifei Liu, who is from Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease) who poses as a man to join the Chinese military in a time of conscription. The Mongols are invading and have breached the Great Wall, and now she’s at the forefront of a massive military defense attempting to defeat the horde.
The largely-Chinese movie is the first martial arts epic, a popular genre it hopes will appease fans in mainland China. Many films are delayed because of theaters closing across the world, especially in China, but Disney is betting this movie will still be a blockbuster. The company likely isn’t worried about box office loss in China, as #BoycottMulan already sparked controversy at the end of 2019.
Although appropriately an all-Asian cast, the movie is viewed as negative by the trans community. Mulan’s budget of $200 million makes it the most expensive of all its live-action remakes of animated classics. Its star (Liu) also sparked controversy for posting pro-police commnts to her 66 million followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. This ultimately created the boycott.
It looks like Disney is hoping to slide this one in while the Chinese population is distracted to avoid problems and recoup its investment. Here’s some interviews with the cast and crew.
Yifei Liu speaks on playing Mulan.
Tzi Ma explains playing Zhou.
Yoson An talks about playing Honghui
Jason Scott Lee speaks on playing Bori Khan in Mulan.
Director of Photography Mandy Walker explains filming the movie.
Production Designer Grant Major explains creating the sets and production for the movie.
Donnie Yen explains playing Commander Tung.
Cosdumer Designer Bina Daigeler explains the clothing and costumes of ancient China.
Composer Harry Gregson-Williams speaks on the music and compositions created for the movie.
Director Niki Caro talks about making the movie.
Check out some behind-the-scenes footage from Mulan.
Mulan hits theaters March 27, 2020 in the U.S., and we’ll see how well it does in another month.