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Gong Li, Jet Li Join Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’

Chinese stars Gong Li and Jet Li are joining Disney’s live-action version of “Mulan” opposite Donnie Yen and Liu Yifei.

The film is a remake of Disney’s 1998 animated film in which Fa Mulan, daughter of aging warrior Fa Zhou, impersonates a man to take her father’s place during a general conscription during the Han Dynasty.

Jet Li is in final talks to play the emperor of China, who orders the mobilization of troops. Gong Li will portray the villain as a powerful witch. Chinese-Vietnamese actress Xana Tang will play Mulan’s sister.

Niki Caro is directing the film, which also includes Donnie Yen as Mulan’s mentor, Commander Tung. Mulan will begin shooting in August in China and New Zealand.

Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner are producing the movie. The film’s release was recently pushed back by more than a year to March 27, 2020.

Gong Li’s career dates back to the 1987 film “Red Sorghum.” She starred in the 2016 Chinese action-fantasy “the Monkey King 2.”

Jet Li’s first movie was 1982’s “Shaolin Temple.” His first role in an American film came in 1998 with “Lethan Weapon 4.”

The English-language version of the original “Mulan” featured the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer, and BD Wong, while Jackie Chan voiced Chinese dubs of the movie. The animated film grossed $304.3 million worldwide.

“Jurassic World” and “Avatar” sequel scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver came on board in 2015 to rewrite the spec by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin.

Disney has seen considerable success from live-action reboots of its animated films, including “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” and, most recently, “Beauty and the Beast. The studio is now shooting “Dumbo,” with Tim Burton directing and Colin Farrell starring.

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