Mulan delayed until August

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan has been delayed by almost a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Niki Caro’s retelling of the classic Disney animation, starring Liu Yifei, was originally supposed to open in cinemas in late March, but its r…

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan has been delayed by almost a month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Niki Caro’s retelling of the classic Disney animation, starring Liu Yifei, was originally supposed to open in cinemas in late March, but its release date was moved to 24 July after movie theatres closed amid the health crisis.

For a few weeks, Mulan looked set to be the first studio blockbuster to reopen cinemas, particularly after Warner Bros. bosses moved Christopher Nolan’s Tenet from its original 17 July slot, but Disney executives have now confirmed they are postponing its release by almost a month and it is now scheduled to open on 21 August.

“While the pandemic has changed our release plans for Mulan and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance,” said Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, co-chairmen of Walt Disney Studios, in a statement. “Director Niki Caro and our cast and crew have created a beautiful, epic, and moving film that is everything the cinematic experience should be, and that’s where we believe it belongs – on the world stage and the big screen for audiences around the globe to enjoy together.”

Last week, Warner Bros. bosses pushed Tenet back to 12 August. As a result, MGM postponed the release of Bill & Ted Face the Music, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, by two weeks to 28 August to avoid opening on the same week as the blockbuster.

In addition, Paramount Pictures announced it was delaying the release of Without Remorse, a Tom Clancy adaptation starring Michael B. Jordan, by almost five months from 2 October to 26 February 2021, and Russell Crowe’s thriller Unhinged has moved from 10 to 31 July.

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Niki Caro wanted to honour animated Mulan movie with live-action version

Niki Caro worked hard to honour Disney’s animated Mulan movie with her live-action version.The director has been sharing intricate details on Instagram of the creative process behind the scenes of the upcoming remake and revealed that while her take on…

Niki Caro worked hard to honour Disney’s animated Mulan movie with her live-action version.

The director has been sharing intricate details on Instagram of the creative process behind the scenes of the upcoming remake and revealed that while her take on the much-loved classic is different, it pays tribute to the original.

“I feel like I shouldn’t continue without honoring the incredible work of the 1998 animation,” Caro wrote alongside a picture of a Mulan movie poster. “Much has been discussed about the fact that the live-action Mulan takes a different path. Our intention was to honor not only the beloved animation, but also the original Chinese ballad from the 5th or 6th century.”

The filmmaker has been criticised by die-hard Disney fans for removing elements of the animated classic, such as the musical numbers and the character Mushu, and she was daunted by the challenge of delivering a “worthy successor” to the original animation.

“Even though the Mulan story has been told countless times over more than a millennia, I was still daunted by the challenge of making something that would be a worthy successor to the animation, and would meet the expectations of a truly passionate audience,” the 53-year-old director continued.

The Whale Rider filmmaker concluded her post: “I hope audiences can feel the deep love and respect for the animation in the movie we made, and that all those who love her can continue their relationship with this iconic hero in a new way. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to sharing it – when it is safe to do so.”

Mulan, starring Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, and Jet Li, is due to be released in cinemas on 24 July.

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Spike Lee criticises decision to reopen cinemas

Spike Lee has spoken out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently announced that he would be relaxing quarantine restrictions and reopening select non-essential bu…

Spike Lee has spoken out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently announced that he would be relaxing quarantine restrictions and reopening select non-essential businesses, such as cinemas, beginning 27 April. His decision has sparked controversy, with many believing it is too soon to go back to movie theatres, given that the Covid-19 pandemic is still sweeping America, the country currently worst affected by the crisis.

The BlackKklansman director made it clear that he doesn’t support the decision in a statement to Vanity Fair, in which he stated that the focus should be on testing people for the virus.

“Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw,” Lee wrote in an email in his signature style. “I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got. TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING (sic).”

Lee isn’t the only filmmaker taking a stand. Veep creator Armando Iannucci took to Twitter this week to make it known that he doesn’t support his film The Death of Stalin being shown in the reopened movie theatres.

“I’d like to make it clear I don’t approve of any of my films being shown in US movie theatres before it’s clear the virus has been overcome. So, I don’t approve of The Death of Stalin being shown in US movie theatres as early as May 29th. That’s simply too early,” he wrote.

Officials at IFC Films, which distributed his satire, announced this week that they would be making 200 of their titles available for free to independent movie theatre owners looking to fill their slates when they reopen.

There won’t be any new studio films to populate the cinema schedules for weeks as they have all been postponed due to the crisis. The next big releases are Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, which are currently slated to open in July.

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Niki Caro confirms new release date for live-action Mulan

Director Niki Caro is looking forward to releasing Mulan in July.The remake of the 1998 animation was originally scheduled to hit cinemas from 27 March, but has suffered from delays as theatres temporarily close due to strict social distancing measures…

Director Niki Caro is looking forward to releasing Mulan in July.

The remake of the 1998 animation was originally scheduled to hit cinemas from 27 March, but has suffered from delays as theatres temporarily close due to strict social distancing measures made necessary by the coronavirus crisis.

Studio bosses have reacted to the theatre shutdowns by reshuffling release dates, with Mulan just one of many titles affected.

Taking to Instagram last week, Caro shared that her new film would now be unveiled on 24 July.

“The words Loyal, Brave, and True have never meant more to me than they do in this time, and I am very moved today to be able to announce that the new release date for our movie is July 24 2020,” she wrote.

However, Mulan’s newly instated date is perceived as optimistic by some. Given many films slated to be released in May and June have been pushed back to September or later, a July release of any film could be unlikely.

Continuing her comment, Caro suggested the film will only screen once public health permits: “Once it is again safe to gather, to sit in a movie theatre together and share the experience of a great story, we will be there. And we can’t wait to share Mulan’s journey with you all. Worldwide. On big screens.”

In the interim, Caro has been posting her “behind-the-scenes of Mulan” diary on her social media pages, recapping the “the glorious, and sometimes daunting experience of making the movie.”

The film stars Liu Yifei as its title character, as well as Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Jason Scott Lee.

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Niki Caro credits Patty Jenkins with inspiring her to make live-action Mulan

Niki Caro has praised Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for paving the way and inspiring her to helm Disney’s live-action Mulan.The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has joined the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay and Jenkins, who have made films…

Niki Caro has praised Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for paving the way and inspiring her to helm Disney’s live-action Mulan.

The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has joined the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay and Jenkins, who have made films costing more than $100 million (£77 million), was disappointed in the almost non-existent opportunities for female directors in Hollywood when she started out.

“When I first started wanting to be a filmmaker, there was so little precedent for women doing this (big studio) work,” Caro told The Hollywood Reporter. “Patty changed the game with Wonder Woman. It was like a shot of adrenaline for me as a filmmaker.”

And for the live-action remake of the 1998 Disney animated classic, the 53-year-old hired a female-dominated crew, including cinematographer Mandy Walker, costume designer Bina Daigeler, and first assistant director Liz Tan.

Elsewhere in the interview, Caro revealed that a huge global hunt was conducted to find the perfect actress to play Mulan, with her sending a team of casting directors to almost every small village in China back in 2016.

“She’s a needle in a haystack, but we were going to find her,” she explained. “It’s impossible to make this movie without this person.”

Liu Yifei was eventually picked to play the young girl who takes her ailing father’s place in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, and Caro immediately put the actress through a 90-minute physical assessment to ensure she was able to deal with the rigorous training and fight scenes during filming,

“(Liu) never complained once, never said, ‘I can’t.’ She went to her limits,” the director added.

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Disney postpone release of Mulan in response to coronavirus outbreak

Disney has postponed the upcoming release of Mulan, The New Mutants, and Antlers out of an “abundance of caution” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The release of the live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animation, about a girl who disguises herself as a…

Disney has postponed the upcoming release of Mulan, The New Mutants, and Antlers out of an “abundance of caution” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The release of the live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animation, about a girl who disguises herself as a man to fight in the army, had already been delayed in some countries, including China, due to the crisis. But on Thursday, Disney bosses announced it would no longer be unveiled on 27 March.

Director Niki Caro addressed the news on social media, telling her followers, “We are so excited to share this film with the world, but given the current ever-shifting circumstances we are all experiencing, unfortunately, we have to postpone the worldwide release of Mulan for now. Our hearts are with everyone the world over who is affected by this virus, and we hope that Mulan’s fighting spirit will continue to inspire those who are working so hard to keep us all safe. Thank you for all of your enthusiasm and support, and I can’t wait for the day where we will all get to experience this tale of a girl warrior who became a legend together.”

The movie was postponed on Thursday, as Caro and the cast, including Liu Yifei and Jason Scott Lee, attended the London premiere in Leicester Square. Ahead of the event, Disney officials had announced they were downscaling the event, so it would be a contained indoor screening rather than a red carpet. The U.S. premiere had taken place on Monday.

In addition to Mulan, Disney executives also announced on Thursday that they were postponing the release of Antlers, a horror starring Keri Russell, and X-Men spin-off, The New Mutants, starring Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy. The release of the latter has already been postponed multiple times since its original slot of April 2018. Both films, which were due to hit cinemas in April, and Mulan, have been delayed indefinitely.

Many big studio films have been postponed due to the outbreak, which has led to the closure of cinemas and restrictions on public gatherings. Affected films include No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, Peter Rabbit, and the U.S. release of My Spy and The Lovebirds. Currently, the next big film release is Trolls: World Tour on 10 April.

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Yifei Liu channels inner Disney princess at Mulan premiere

Yifei Liu was the embodiment of a real-life Disney princess at the Mulan premiere on Monday night.The Chinese actress takes on the titular role in director Niki Caro’s upcoming live-action remake of the 1998 animated classic of the same name, with the …

Yifei Liu was the embodiment of a real-life Disney princess at the Mulan premiere on Monday night.

The Chinese actress takes on the titular role in director Niki Caro’s upcoming live-action remake of the 1998 animated classic of the same name, with the film following a young maiden who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

Stepping out at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles for the feature’s debut, Liu dazzled in a strapless gold ballgown with a long train and delicate embroidery from Elie Saab.

She accessorised the look with Chaumet jewellery, and had her hair styled into tumbling waves.

Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Mulan in the original movie, also opted for a dramatic ballgown for the night. The star chose a stunning number made from blue and gold fabric by Mark Zunino and topped off the ensemble with a touch of light blue eyeshadow on her eyelids and sparkly drop earrings.

Elsewhere, Liu’s co-star Donnie Yen looked handsome in a classic tuxedo, Jet Li rocked a black suit, Yoson An opted for an Ermenegildo Zegna outfit, and Jason Scott Lee chose a classic navy blue suit.

And Christina Aguilera certainly made a splash in a pink and red outfit from Galia Lahav. The singer, who has recorded an updated version of the song Reflection for the Mulan soundtrack as well as new tune Loyal Brave True, topped off her look by adding pink streaks through her platinum blonde updo.

Moana star Auli’i Cravalho opted for the pink theme too, selecting an Azzi & Osta dress, while Lana Condor rocked a blue jumpsuit with gold sequin detailing from Antonio Berardi.

Among the other celebrities showing their support for the film included Chrissy Metz, Jaimie Alexander, Alexis Knapp, Kimora Lee Simmons, and Jordin Sparks.

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Niki Caro extensively researched Chinese history to prepare for Mulan

Niki Caro extensively researched Chinese history as she prepared to direct the live-action remake of Disney’s Mulan.The 360-word poem, The Ballad of Mulan, first told the tale of the feminist heroine, who disguises herself as a man to take the place of…

Niki Caro extensively researched Chinese history as she prepared to direct the live-action remake of Disney’s Mulan.

The 360-word poem, The Ballad of Mulan, first told the tale of the feminist heroine, who disguises herself as a man to take the place of her ailing father in the Imperial Army, back in the fifth or sixth century.

It has since been adapted into plays, operas and films, most famously by Disney in 1998, with the animated movie becoming a much-loved classic.

Caro was keen to get everything right for the upcoming movie, and took multiple trips to China to speak with dozens of experts, including the world’s specialist on Tang dynasty military strategy, in an effort to make sure her live-action remake honoured tradition and history.

“I certainly wasn’t aware of how deeply important (Mulan) is to mainland Chinese – all children are taught it,” the filmmaker told The Hollywood Reporter. “She is so meaningful that many places I went, people would say, ‘Well, she comes from my village’… It was wonderful to feel that profound connection – but also terrifying.”

And the 53-year-old director was so keen to ensure Chinese audiences were happy with the finished film that she removed a scene in which Mulan kisses love interest Chen Honghui on a bridge.

“It was very beautiful, but the China office went, ‘No, you can’t, that doesn’t feel right to the Chinese people,'” she said. “So we took it out.”

While some were upset at the decision to hire the New Zealand filmmaker rather an Asian director, Caro assured her critics that she got the job done.

“Although it’s a critically important Chinese story and it’s set in Chinese culture and history, there is another culture at play here, which is the culture of Disney, and that the director, whoever they were, needed to be able to handle both – and here I am,” she responded.

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Christina Aguilera confirms she’s recorded ‘new material’ for Mulan

Christina Aguilera has recorded new material for Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan.The Genie in a Bottle hitmaker made the surprise announcement during her Xperience residency show in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, according to editors at Entertainmen…

Christina Aguilera has recorded new material for Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan.

The Genie in a Bottle hitmaker made the surprise announcement during her Xperience residency show in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, according to editors at Entertainment Weekly.

“The live-action Mulan is coming out by the way. You have to go see it. I recorded a new Reflection and new material for the movie. I’ve been working on that, but this is the original,” she told the crowd, before launching into the hit tune.

Reflection, written by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel, was performed onscreen in the 1998 original animated classic by Broadway star Lea Salonga, but Aguilera released a version of the song as her first-ever single, which launched her pop career at the age of 17.

The upcoming remake stars newcomer Liu Yifei as the titular character, alongside Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li, and follows the story of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a male warrior and joins the army in order to save her ailing father.

Director Niki Caro previously explained her version doesn’t include any musical numbers but insisted she honours the original Oscar-nominated soundtrack in a different way.

“I mean, back to the realism question – we don’t tend to break into song when we go to war. Not that I’m saying anything against the animation,” the filmmaker said at a press presentation, reported Digital Spy. “The songs are brilliant, and if I could squeeze them in there, I would have. But we do honour the music from the animation in a very significant way.”

Mulan hits cinemas from 25 March.

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Mulan becomes first Disney live-action remake to get PG-13 rating in America

Niki Caro’s Mulan has become the first-ever Disney live-action remake to land a PG-13 rating in the U.S.Officials at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) decided that the movie, which stars newcomer Liu Yifei as a young Chinese woman who dis…

Niki Caro’s Mulan has become the first-ever Disney live-action remake to land a PG-13 rating in the U.S.

Officials at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) decided that the movie, which stars newcomer Liu Yifei as a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a male warrior and joins the army to save her ailing father, should be more restrictive than other remakes due to “sequences of violence”.

The studio’s recent live-action remakes, such as Aladdin, The Lion King and The Jungle Book, were all handed PG ratings by the MPA, and the last Disney film to receive a PG-13 rating, similar to the 12A rating in the U.K., was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales back in 2017.

Director Caro has taken a more realistic direction with the Mulan remake and has scrapped all of the original songs from the 1998 animated classic, including Reflection, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, and A Girl Worth Fighting For.

Some of the characters from the much-loved movie have also been ditched, including Mulan’s dragon companion Mushu, who was voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Caro recently spoke out about not including the dragon in her upcoming movie and said a version of the spiritual guardian would be featured in her remake instead.

“I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable,” she stated, before adding that there will be a different creature that serves as the representation of Mulan’s ancestors.

The movie, also starring Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Jason Scott Lee, will be in cinemas from March.

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