Disney's live-action Mulan remake has finally arrived, and fans are eagerly poring over the film to see how it measures up to the 1998 animated classic. Eagle-eyed fans of the original Mulan will notice a tribute to the film in the remake, in the form of a secret cameo from actress Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Fa Mulan in the 1998 film.
Spoiler! The moment comes near the end of the live-action remake. After the lead character, played by Liu Yifei, saves the emperor in a battle against the villainous Bori Khan, Mulan is formally presented before the royal court in a grand ceremony.
During the ceremony, Ming-Na Wen appears before the court, dressed in full regalia, and formally introduces Yifei to the emperor and the rest of the court as Huan Mulan. For this brief appearance, Wen is billed in the credits as 'Esteemed Guest' and is able to share a moment with her successor, in a symbolic passing of the baton from one Mulan to the other.
Younger fans of Ming-Na Wen may know her better as Agent May from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and in fact the actress was busy filming the final season of the show when she had to sneak out New Zealand for a day to film her cameo. Being part of the new Mulan clearly meant a lot to Wen, since she was not alone in filming her cameo that day, as producer Jason Reed revealed.
"After Ming-Na does her introduction, Mulan says something slightly unexpected a few shots later and it cuts to the reaction of someone who gives a 'oh my' reaction. That is Ming-Na Wen's daughter. This has been a very important part of [Wen's] life and has been ever since the movie came out. She's been the face of the movie for a long time and she was super excited to be involved and to come to the set."
Ever since the live-action remake of Mulan had been announced, fans had been speculating whether Wen was going to be a part of the movie. After it was revealed that the main villain of the remake was going to be female, some guessed Wen might be playing that role. But it makes a great deal more sense to have Wen introduce the new Mulan to the rest of the world in the character's most triumphant moment.
Directed by Niki Caro, Disney's live-action Mulan features a lead cast of Liu Yifei as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan, and Yoson An as Chen Honghui, with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor.
The movie tells the tale of a young woman who joins the Imperial Amry of Ancient China in place of her father by disguising herself as a man. After months of waiting for theaters chains to reopen fully, the film has now been made available through Premier Access on Disney+. This news arrives via Business Insider.