Mulan Updates: Cast Will Not Sing, Mushu Replaced by Phoenix?

In recent years, Disney adapted many classic animations into live-action movies, and among the most anticipated is Mulan (花木蘭>. However, the real-life version will allegedly differ from other live-action remakes. That is, the film will not be a musical and Mulan’s beloved sidekick, Mushu will not appear.

Following the success of Alice in Wonderland <愛麗絲夢遊仙境>, Maleficent <黑魔后>, Cinderella <仙履奇緣>, Beauty and the Beast <美女與野獸>, and Aladdin <阿拉丁>, the next live-action Disney movie to be released is Lion King <獅子王>. Classic animations are full of childhood memories, and many fans are quite looking forward to it.

Big Actors Starring in Mulan

As for Mulan, although filming was completed as early as last year, it’s currently in post-production and expected to be released in March 2020. Aside from Mainland actress Crystal Liu (劉亦菲), who plays Mulan, there are also many big-league stars in the movie. Jet Li (李連杰) plays the king, Gong Li (鞏俐) plays the villain, and Donnie Yen (甄子丹) plays the commander. It is said that Disney spent about USD 100 million in production costs.

Cast Will Not Sing

Since the cast was revealed, the film received a lot of attention. However, director Niki Caro said that it would not be made in the form of a musical. Thus, the classic songs from the animated version will only be presented in the form of soundtracks, and not sung by the actors.

Mushu Replaced by Phoenix

Earlier, Eddie Murphy, the actor who dubbed the animated version of Mushi said he’d return to the film. However, according to the media, the live-action remake will no longer have the role of Mushu – instead, Mulan’s sidekick is going to be Phoenix. In addition, some netizens discovered photos of the film’s staff wearing Mulan outerwear that has a phoenix printed on it.

Source: HK01

This article is written by MelodyC for

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  1. Okay, this one’s gonna be a flop. I don’t think there is a successful Disney live-action film yet…that I know of. Enchanted was the closest to awesome, but that’s cuz of Amy Adams.

      1. @msxie0714 It’s LYF starring…she’s been box office poison for a while. Not good enough as an actress. And Disney just casted a black singer for the role of Ariel. Seriously…whoever is in charge of selecting casting directors in Disney for these movies should be fired.

    1. @coralie

      Perhaps not “successful” by your standards or mine, but definitely successful in terms of box office sales.

      Maleficent grossed over 700 million, and both Alice in Wonderland & Beauty and the Beast hit 1 billion each in worldwide sales, with the recent Aladdin trailing slighting behind at the 900 million mark. Pretty sure the new Lion King will fare even better than these. So from a numbers perspective, Disney’s live-action films have been very successful, which explains why they’re constantly churning out more.

      That said, I, too, hate how much the remakes deviate from the originals, and resent the fact that we’re paying Disney so much more for making these amazing movies WORSE.

      Then again, we’re all familiar with the corporate greed associated with their brand. Like TVB, these people couldn’t care less about adding heart and value to a production, so long as they’re able to make a quick cash grab. I mean, why waste effort on new, quality content when everyone will pay to see lackluster versions anyway?

      The only difference between TVB and Disney is that the latter operates on a much grander scale, so they can afford to get away with these lazy film-making tactics while still making a decent buck, whereas the former’s market value is rapidly declining. Disney can throw dead grass into a cereal box, wrap it up in some pretty packaging and people will still eat that stuff like no tomorrow. Not quite the same for TVB.

      Anyway, I have zero expectations for this Mulan adaptation, and will likely skip it, especially now that I know there won’t be any singing involved (which is basically the heart and soul of any Disney production, IMO).

      1. @oystergirl True and I kept reading how Disney’s making profits off these movies, even though they suck. Maybe a reason why they just don’t care how their productions are reviewed; they know they’re going to make a quick buck regardless, like you said. Blatant disregard for quality.

        There was also criticism that there has been very little originality in the film industry for the past 25 years. Everything is just a copy or a remake of previous ideas. It really makes me wonder on where the market is heading in the future.

        On the other hand, I am half curious to watch Mulan, if only to see how badly they developed the movie lol. The choreography looks half-decent, but still, it’s LYF. She makes everything look boring and dull. I hope she improved. If not, it’s a guilty pleasure to say she still sucks.

  2. Again, this is not a Disney make imo. This is far far far far far from what I grew up and loved about disney mulan. This is simply another China remake bs. We had many of those. I honestly looked forward to live action disney version of Mulan eventhough other Disney live movies are a flop. This is def a skip for me. Sad.

    1. @jjwong

      So you preferred the disneyfied cartoon version of Mulan over previously more authentic Chinese versions? Don’t know why you’re claiming this latest version is a China remake when the production company is actually Disney.

      1. @msxie0714 Yes, I much prefer a Disney-fied Mulan WHEN they billed it as that. This is supposed to be a live action of DISNEY Mulan and NOT any other Mulan remake. If they truly want “authentic” (in your word) of Mulan then don’t bill it as THE Disney Mulan. This version is just like any other remake version of Mulans over the years; and those are made with huge China influence. This is not supposed to be one; again it’s Disney live action version of their Disney cartoon Mulan. I’m not saying original Disney version is the best or most authentic or even accurate version of Mulan. All I’m saying is a cop out to bill as the Disney version, yet all these changes and additions, no Mushu, no Shang, no Hans, no “I’ll make a man out of you,” and not following anything remotely close with the Disney version (except a girl dresses like a boy for her father and enlists in the army).

        Drop the Disney association, then sure I’ll respect it and even kudo it for all Asian ensemble.

        BTW, I highly doubt this version IS the “authentic” version. Then again, what is authentic. She merely is mentioned in a ballad once or twice. Then over the years, we romanticized and turned her into what we think and know as Fa Mulan. Meh, everyone has their preferences and opinions.

        With the success of Hero, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Crazy Rich Asian, and other Asian influenced movies I hope this lives up to the hype as an Asian-billed and succeed, honestly.

      2. @jjwong I agree. Honestly, Disney should’ve just left the original alone. If they want to do remakes, then they should stick close to the original formula. These kids’ movies are supposed to be fun, adventurous, comedic and innocent (well, as innocent as they can be.) The Chinese re-enactments for Mulan with the little kids was pretty much a copy of exact scene-for-scene of the cartoon Mulan and I thought it was great! But even then they did change some parts of the script. I don’t mind Disney changing some things, but they removed singing! They removed core characters! They picked LYF! It was doomed from the start. It no longer characterizes the original, except in name only. Then why bother to do a remake at all.

        Also, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve found a good representation of Asian movie in Hollywood yet. I found Hero, CTHD, CRA more hype than substance. The only movie close to staying true to Asian culture (IMO anyways) is surprisingly the Rush Hour series lol. Even then, it didn’t showcase Asian culture in the most flattering, natural light.

        I had high hopes for Mulan originally; now I think Disney knew it’s going to be a flop from the very beginning since it’s so well-known, so they stopped caring haha. If you look at Beauty & the Beast – it was a disaster. Emma Watson was a total miscast. Cinderella was boring. I haven’t watched Aladdin yet, but I don’t think it did so well either.

      3. @coralie Did you see the Chinese versions of Mulan that were made before Disney’s version came out? The earliest Mulan I know of was made in 1963 from HK, but there were also others made far earlier in Shanghai. Surely you’re not implying that Chinese film makers appropriated their own Mulan story from Disney!

        Hero – a Chinese film with amazing aesthetics depicting ancient China – was far more satisfying to me than the others you mentioned.

      4. @msxie0714 I did not. Didn’t even realize there was a film that sparked the Disney version. And while the story belongs to China, I thought the best version of the story came from Disney’s Mulan, but I wasn’t aware they ripped it from another Chinese film. Good to know.

        The problem I have with artsy Chinese movies is that they are often times too focused on aesthetics at the expense of the plot. While they’re stunning to look at, I would take a great storyline over cinematography any day. Which is why when people praise these Chinese films, they bother me because it feels like the Chinese are pandering to American market to make pretty films. It’s not to stay true to making good movies with great stories, but just so they can get recognition by Americans. That in itself is putting Chinese films into its own pigeonhole.

      5. @coralie

        You’re right about some Chinese film makers pandering to Hollywood and other foreign markets. Some merely have their sights on the glory of getting nominated for an Oscar, and fail to please anyone. Still loved Hero though and not just for aesthetics.

      6. @coralie I agree with you about Chinese filmmakers pandering to Hollywood and their films being put into a pigeonhole as a result. Perhaps that is why in recent years, the trend with China has been investing in actual Hollywood movies (and/or production companies) that have no Chinese / Asian element to it whatsoever, so they can get the recognition and bragging rights from their “films” winning awards or being box office and/or critical hits (i.e.: Lala Land and Green Book, both of which had Mainland China investment)…why bother pushing their own Asian-themed movies into Hollywood (which is a tougher sell and a lot of work to do right) when they can just partner up with am American studio on a mainstream American movie, throw in enough money to get billed as one of the “executive producers” (though not too much so as to put them on the China government’s radar), then sit back and reap the rewards…that’s pretty much how it works nowadays…

      7. @jjwong
        the animated Disney Mulan is said to have been heavily influenced by the Shaw Brothers 1963 musical “Lady General”, and adding certain westernized elements to the animated version. It’s ironic that you are railing against Chinese influences in what is a legendary story from China.
        Doubt whether Disney will be willing or able to drop the Disney association since they are the producers of this live version. In case you didn’t know, the first screenplay by white writers for the live action Mulan called for romance between her and a European merchant who encouraged Mulan to join the army. Thankfully, protests from angry Chinese and Asian netizens forced Disney to revise the absurd whitewashed script!

      8. @msxie0714 Mate, you’re totally missing my point. I’m not gonna reiterated for 3+ times. Stop trolling. Smell the roses. Enjoy the movie to your heart content!

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