The live-action Mulan just got even more talent added to its cast, including the film's main villain.
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. That inspires Hua Mulan (played by Liu Yifei) to disguise herself as a man so her father doesn't have to go and thus kicks the film into motion (via THR).
Boot Camp won't be the only thing she'll have to face, however, as Mulan has also cast Gong Li in the role of the film's main villain, which will feature a big change from the original animated film. Gong Li will play a powerful witch in the live-action version, whereas in the original the main villain was leader of the Huns Shan Yu.
Gong Li is known for her roles in The Story of Qui Ju, Raise the Red Lantern, Curse of the Golden Flower, and Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine. She's also starred in Chinese Box, Miami Vice, Hannibal Rising, and Memoirs of a Geisha.
As for Jet Li, fans know the martial arts superstar from films like Once Upon a Time in China, Lethal Weapon 4, Hero, The Warlords, and his roles in The Expendables films.
Xana Tang will also be joining the cast as Mulan's sister, an original character made specifically for the live-action version. Tang has appeared in projects like Filthy Rich, The Letdown, and Dead Lucky.
These new castings join the previously announced addition of Donnie Yen, who joined the film yesterday as Mulan's mentor Commander Tung.
There will surely be a few more changes in terms of plot and characters from the original, but director Niki Caro did clear up some misunderstandings about the film's view on including music from the movie, which had previously been brought into doubt.
"No, not at all. I mean, I haven't even started on the movie yet. I haven't seen a single casting yet, and these are conversations that are all ongoing. The live-action is based on that inspirational Chinese ballad and on the animated Disney classic. We're still exploring the role that music's going to play in it, but for sure there will be music."
Previous live-action adaptations have also made changes from the original here and there, and most often for the better, so we're interested to see how Mulan plays out.
The live-action Mulan lands in theaters on March 27, 2020.