Live action 'Mulan' remains true to story legend, pumps up adrenaline amid epic landscapes with new heroine, Yifei Liu

Disney's 'Mulan' moves from animated classic to live action adventure and introduces fans to new star, Yifei Liu.

ByGeorge Pennacchio via OTRC logo
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
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Director Niki Caro moves the legendary story of "Mulan" from a favorite animated Disney film to a high powered, live action adventure with rising star Yifei Liu taking on the title role.

Disney's live action "Mulan" was scheduled to debut March 27. Its release was changed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it will now premiere on Friday, Sept. 4 on Disney+ with Premier Access.

Just days before the stay at home orders were made, I sat down with the star, and director of "Mulan" to talk about this highly anticipated new movie.

The story of "Mulan" has been around for hundreds of years. It's the tale of a young woman who masquerades as a male warrior...and goes on to triumph in a man's world.

MORE: Everything to know about 'Mulan' on Disney+

"Mulan's" story was told in a fan favorite 1998 Disney animated movie, with the title character voiced by Ming-Na Wen. The updated version has Yifei Liu taking over the role. The film is directed by Niki Caro, who says she wanted to remain faithful to the history of "Mulan" while offering audiences something completely new.

"This is just another way to experience this incredible story, but in the most epic and explosive way," said Caro. "They will still laugh, and maybe cry, with its action it also has genuine emotion and heart."

"I'm so honored to get to play this role," said Liu. "My friends and family are just so proud of me, that I had the opportunity to play this role. Of course 'Mulan' is such a beloved character. And I really feel good, because they feel good about it."

Caro's goal was to make an action and adrenaline filled ride, set against epic landscapes.

"The bigger the better for me!" said Caro. "I was never happier on a set than with all the horses, and the armies, and this girl."

Christina Aguilera's new 'Reflection' music video from 'Mulan' is here

I questioned Caro and Liu about those beautiful sets... wondering if what we see on screen is via green screen, or real backgrounds.

Both women answered, "It is real!"

Liu and Caro built an especially tight bond during the filming of "Mulan."

"It's a little unspoken between us," said Caro, and Liu agreed. "We have the full mind meld and she knows that my expectations are very high, and I know that her spirit is very strong and we both have a similar, driving need to do well."

Disney's "Mulan" will be available to stream exclusively on Disney+ on Friday, Sept. 4, with Premier Access.

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