'Mulan' First Look Shows Disney's Live-Action Princess Is Ready For Battle

Chinese actress Liu Yifei will play the iconic heroine in the upcoming film.

The upcoming live-actionMulan” movie might not have a quasi-bisexual love story or a quippy dragon sidekick named Mushu, but we’re still ridiculously excited for the ancient Chinese tale to return to the big screen.

Consider us fully on board after Disney released the first image of the legendary warrior played by Chinese superstar Liu Yifei (also known as Crystal Liu) on Monday to announce that the film has begun production.

In the photo, the actress wears a red robe and strikes a fierce pose with a sword in hand.

“Let’s get down to business to make a movie!” the caption reads. “The live-action #Mulan is now in production, starring Liu Yifei as Mulan.”

The live-action adaptation is based on Disney’s wildly successful 1998 animated film, which was inspired by the sixth-century poem “The Ballad of Mulan,” about a young woman who disguises herself as a man to take her sick father’s place in the army.

Fans noted that the actress’ pose resembles one struck by the character in the animated version’s climactic final battle.

“It’s a big, girly martial arts epic. It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving,” the film’s director, Niki Caro, who helmed last year’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” told MovieFone about her vision for the film.

“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,” the official synopsis reads.

The film has gathered an impressive group of actors to bring the story to life, including Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Gong Li and Xana Tang.

Some fans, however, reacted less than kindly to anticipated changes to the film, like the absence of Li Shang, who romanced the title character in the earlier version.

The animated film, which earned $304.3 million at the global box office as well as Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, celebrated its 20th anniversary in June.

“Mulan” is slated for a March 27, 2020, release.

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