We have a new look at Mulan ahead of its release next month. Disney has released a new featurette focused on Yifei Liu, who has been tapped to play the lead role in the upcoming live-action remake. The behind-the-scenes look at the movie not only offers footage from the epic but dives deep on how Liu landed the role and what she brings to it.
Like previous trailers, this featurette gives a comprehensive look at the massive scope and huge action contained in Mulan. It is hugely cinematic and looks, at least in terms of appearance, to be a faithful retelling of the story fans are familiar with. But the video has more of a personal focus with the cast and crew discussing Yiefi Liu's contributions and what makes her perfect for the part. Director Niki Caro had this to say.
"This Mulan story is as relevant and resonant as it was when it was first written over 1,500 years ago. We spent an extraordinary amount of time looking for Mulan all over the world. We searched every village, and once I was in the room with Yifei, I realized that I'd found my warrior."
Not only has 1998's animated Mulan gone on to become a truly beloved classic but this is a huge blockbuster with a massive budget. The pressure to get the casting right was huge. So the fact that Disney and Niki Caro searched high and low, ultimately going with an actress who was largely unknown to American audiences, says a lot. The cast also includes Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li and Jet Li. Yifei Liu in the featurette says she feels a connection between herself and the character.
"I feel the strong connection between me and Mulan. She's very present and focused."
Originally, this was poised to be one of Disney's biggest theatrical releases of 2020. It had been set to arrive in March and critics had even screened it. The first wave of reviews was quite positive. Then, the theater closure happened, changing everything. Disney shifted the release date several times, hoping they would be able to make Mulan one of the first big movies to welcome moviegoers back to theaters. But uncertainty still looms and the studio opted to try something different. Instead, they will be releasing the movie in certain international markets theatrically. However, it will be arriving on Disney+ as a premium title that subscribers can pay an additional $29.99 for.
Unlike other premium VOD movies, anyone who pays for it will be able to watch it for as long as they are subscribed to Disney+. The strategy is one that could lead to big changes in the future, assuming it pays off. It's also one that came as a blow to theaters who are in need of big movies like this to help bring customers back in. Mulan is set to arrive on September 4 from Disney. Be sure to check out the new featurette for yourself.