Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Screenshot: Disney (YouTube)

Disney’s recent spate of live-action remakes have mostly been garbage—hollow regurgitations that ride on little more than nostalgia. That may change with next year’s Mulan, its upcoming riff on the 1998 animated film about a Chinese woman who goes undercover as a man in the Imperial Army. As we noted upon the release of the film’s first teaser, Niki Caro’s vision isn’t content to replicate the original—there are no dragons, crickets, or musical numbers here. Rather, we have what looks to be a thoughtful exploration of cultural defiance, war, and family.

Even the villain is new. Disney’s new trailer for the film offers us a number of glimpses of Xian Lang, a witch played by China’s Gong Li. Li joins a cast that includes Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and, of course, Liu Yifei as the titular character. (Yifei, by the way, recently brought calls for boycotts against the film after her vocal support for the Chinese government amidst the Hong Kong protests.)

Mulan drops on March 27, 2020.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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