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Disney has released the theme song for the live-action Mulan remake

Prepare yourself for a new but familiar Mulan

Image: courtesy Walt Disney Pictures
On International Women's Day (Sunday 8), Disney released a new Mandarin rendition of the song 'Reflection' via Weibo. Performed by Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei who plays Mulan in the new live-action film, the song is dedicated to women all over the world.

The new Mulan film was set to be released internationally on Friday 27, but its Chinese release may be postponed, as theatres across China are still closed due to coronavirus prevention. According to Variety, Mulan cost 200 million USD to make, and the studio relies on international markets, particularly China in this case, to be profitable.

The live-action Mulan generally follows the plot of the 1998 animation. It tells the story of Hua Mulan who enlisted herself in the army by pretending to be a man in order to save her father’s life. But it will not be a beat-for-beat reshoot of the classic animation. First, the film will not be a musical (but some songs will definitely appear in the film). The original's much-loved sidekicks – Mushu and Cri-Kee – will not be in this film. However, expect the addition of two new villains this time – the Rourans under the leadership of Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and a shape-shifting witch played by Gong Li.

Video: via QQ

The most controversial change to the cast is the disappearance of Mulan’s commander and love interest, Captain Li Shang. The character is instead split into two characters – Commander Tung who acts as a mentor and father figure to Mulan and a young soldier named Chen Honghui. Mulan producer Jason Reed told Collider that the decision was a response to the #MeToo movement where having a military commander who is also the love interest of Mulan seemed 'inappropriate'. However, many suspected Li Shang’s disappearance has to do with his unintended status in the LGBTQ community as a bisexual icon.

The new live-action Mulan is directed by New Zealand filmmaker Niki Caro whose work includes North Country, McFarland, USA and The Zookeeper’s Wife. She is the second woman to direct a Disney film that has a budget over 100 million USD.

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