Jason Scott Lee is joining the Disney live-action Mulan remake, which is directed by Niki Caro. Lee previously joined Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book, and he provided the voice for David Kawena in 2002’s animated hit Lilo & Stitch. He also played evil warlord Hades Dai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.
Disney adapted the classic Chinese tale of a daughter-in-disguise going to war in place of her injured father into a musical animation film twenty years ago, and it was a heartwarming blast. The studio is now preparing to begin production on a live-action reimagining that will look more like a Ridley Scott epic than a simple stylistic imitation of its animated precursor. Director Niki Caro previously directed North Country and MacFarland, and the cast includes Yifei Liu (The Forbidden Kingdom) as Mulan, martial arts phenom Jet Li as the Emperor, and Li Gong as a witch.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee will play the villainous Bori Khan, a battle-hardened leader seeking to avenge his father’s death. The addition of this character is a noteworthy change from Disney’s original Mulan, where the main antagonist was Shan Yu (voiced by the late Miguel Ferrer), leader of the Hun Army. Other changes include the additions of Commander Tung, an experienced soldier (played by Donnie Yen of Ip Man fame), and Cheng Honghui (played by Yoson An) as Mulan’s romantic interest.
So far the film is quite impressive in terms of casting, and it features a nice mix of big names and emerging stars. It will be interesting to see new takes on beloved characters from the original film, and we are excited to see talented actors like Lee get the opportunity to leave their own mark on brand new characters who aren’t loaded with pre-expectations.
Mulan is expected to release on March 27, 2020.