He went on to star in Romeo Must Die, Zhang Yimou's Oscar-nominated Hero (having a great fight sequence with Donnie Yen) and in the Expendables series for Lionsgate. However, she was the only cast member officially onboard for director Niki Caro's film until yesterday, when Donnie Yen joined the cast as a Commander in the Chinese army.
Chinese singer-actress Liu Yifei (also known as Crystal Liu) leads the reimagining as Mulan, the titular princess-turned-fighter inspired by the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. A remake of "The Lion King" is one of many upcoming live-action projects.
Disney is evidently in final talks with Jet Li to play the role of emperor of China, who initiates the male from each household draft. For Mulan, Gong Li will be playing the villain of the movie, a powerful witch. Xana Tang (Filthy Rich) is also joining the cast as Mulan's sister.
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The new iteration of Mulan will translate the 1998 animated Disney classic, which starred Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, and BD Wong, into immersive live action - and might even keep some of campy songs that made the cartoon film so endearing.
According to Deadline, Disney is still casting the rest of the Chinese film - and there's plenty of time, since the release date was pushed back to March 27, 2020.
While some were concerned when Mulan was first announced, it very much looks as though Disney is not simply casting a Chinese actress in the lead role, but casting Chinese performers in nearly all the major roles.