‘Mulan’ Star Ming-Na Wen Weighs in on Disney’s Live-Action Remake

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Ming-Na Wen, who voiced the titular heroine of Disney’s 1998 animated classic Mulan, is “excited” to see the fairy tale re-imagined in live-action.

“Disney has done such an amazing job with the other live-action [remakes], and I love them all, like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Maleficent,” Wen told EW.

“So I’m definitely excited that they chose Mulan of all the other great Disney movies to turn into live-action. I think they’ll do a great job with it, and it’s great to keep that legacy alive.”

Wen is glad to see growing Asian representation in mainstream cinema, pointing to Asian-led romantic comedy blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, which emerged as a commercial and critical hit over the summer.

“Asians are really hot right now in Hollywood — thank goodness — because of Crazy Rich Asians,” she said. With Mulan, who has long endured as a major heroine of folkore, Wen said “it’s great to keep an incredible character and story of Chinese folklore going in any form.”

Wen headlined the original film with co-star Eddie Murphy, who voiced fiery dragon sidekick Mushu. That film grossed over $300 million worldwide and spawned a straight-to-video sequel, a line of merchandise, video games, and saw its warrior heroine inducted into the ever-popular Disney Princess brand, where she continues to feature on everything from t-shirts to bed sheets.

The newest spin on Mulan is the latest animation to live-action translation by Disney, who found repeat success in recent years with Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast, which grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide. Disney next releases the Tim Burton-directed Dumbo in March, the Guy Ritchie-directed Aladdin in May, and the Jon Favreau-directed The Lion King in July.

Niki Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife) directs Mulan from a script by Rick Jaffa (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Amanda Silver (Jurassic World), and Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin (Christmas Perfection).

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Barrie M. Osborne (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and William Kong (Monster Hunt 2) are on board as executive producers, with Jason Reed (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Chris Bender (Rings) acting as producers.

Starring Liu Yifei as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, and Jet Li as the Emperor of China, Mulan opens March 27, 2020.