Twenty years ago, actress Ming-Na Wen lent her voice to the character of Mulan in Disney’s animated feature based upon the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, and with Disney now in production on a live-action remake, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star has been expressing her excitement over the upcoming movie.
“Disney has done such an amazing job with the other live-action [remakes], and I love them all, like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Maleficent,” Wen tells Entertainment Weekly. “So I’m definitely excited that they chose Mulan of all the other great Disney movies to turn into live-action. I think they’ll do a great job with it, and it’s great to keep that legacy alive.”
Wen also went on to discuss the cultural impact of the animated movie, and how it was embraced by members of the LGBTQ community:
“The fact that Mulan had such an impact on the LGBTQ community shows how important representation is in films and television. I should know because I grew up as a Chinese girl in America who seldom saw images of Asians in entertainment. And when there were, they were often stereotypes. So I understand how valuable it is to have representation, to be seen in a positive light.
“Mulan’s story was about a loving girl whose filial duties to protect and save her father gave her the courage to take his place in the army. She had to dress up and impersonate a man in order to do that. That was part of Mulan’s folklore in China. It was never the intention to imply that Mulan was gay, but the mere image of her changing into a boy was enough of a representation to young boys and girls of LGBTQ. She became their heroine. Mulan lifted them up, inspired them, and left a lifetime impact.”
“Mulan” is the epic adventure of a fearless young woman who masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China. The eldest daughter of an honored warrior, Hua Mulan is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. When the Emperor issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army, she steps in to take the place of her ailing father as Hua Jun, becoming one of China’s greatest warriors ever.”
Mulan is being directed by Niki Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife) and stars Liu Yifei (The Chinese Widow) as the title character alongside a cast that also includes Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Chum Ehelepola (Sequestered), Yoson An (The Meg), Jet Li (The Expendables), Gong Li (Ana), Xana Tang (Filthy Rich), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect), Ron Yuan (Marco Polo), Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story), Jimmy Wong (Video Game High School) and Doua Moua (Gran Torino). It is set for release on March 27th 2020.