Mulan star Liu Yifei comments on coronavirus and his political stance
Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan is going to be a big test for the studio in a lot of ways. The $ 200 million tag is the most expensive to date for redos of animated classics, a strategy that has proven to be quite lucrative so far … except in China, or at least not with as much consistency as you do. might expect it; this is another potential stumbling block. Add to the mix a female director (Niki caro) who is not Chinese but oversees a fundamentally Chinese story for Disney, a studio that not have Chinese co-production status on this one, and things are getting a little more blurry. Then they become positively murky once you factor in the politically charged star of the film. Liu Yifei and the complications of the near-pandemic caused by the 2019-2020 strain of the coronavirus, such as China closing all of its cinemas.
THR addresses all of this and more in a piece that’s part profile, part kick off a tour of apologies for Liu Yifei and a potentially underachiever Mulan. I spoke a bit about the miasma surrounding the film in an article for a recent TV spot, which reignited the ongoing #BoycottMulan movement. So keep all of this in mind as we approach the US release of Mulan, the rare Disney movie PG-13 which also stars Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason scott lee like Böri Khan; Yoson One like Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li like Xianniang, and Jet Li as the Emperor, arriving in theaters March 27.
As for Liu Yifei and his comments on the general situation in the world regarding the coronavirus and the political unrest, THR chose to open with this American sentiment sent to the Chinese people:
“It’s really hard for me to think about it. People do the right thing. They take care of themselves and each other. I’m so touched actually to see how they haven’t been out in weeks. . I am truly hoping for a miracle and that it will be over soon. ”
A little later, THR sandwiched a quote from Liu Yifei on his political social media posts between praising his bilingual abilities and his childhood / upbringing:
“It would be a real loss for me if I let the pressure exceed my possibilities… I think it’s obviously a very complicated situation and I’m not an expert. I just hope this resolves soon… I think it is. it’s just a very sensitive situation. ”
To their credit, THR mentioned that she seemed well prepared and more cautious about her responses; Funny what a big financial commitment and international pressure will do to his otherwise outspoken ideologies. President of Disney production Sean bailey also deviated in the name of the company’s “ideologically neutral” stance, claiming that “Yifei’s policy is his, and we are focusing only on the film and its performance.”
THR also contacted Dorothy Lau, professor at the Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University, for the background. Lau said:
“Most Chinese celebrities choose to avoid issuing such political statements because of the risks to their international careers.”
But the pro-Chinese social media post could actually boost the box office numbers there, if and when the film finally opens, according to a USC professor and political and social expert. chinese Stanley rosen:
“At the time, the government came out in various publications very strongly supporting the film … There is a real push from the Chinese government to make it work. I’m sure the government will try to show that the the boycott had no effect … Most people outside of Hong Kong have probably forgotten this controversy, but the Chinese government is not forgetting these things. ”
THR has a lot more about the casting process, the cultural significance of the story of Mulan and the original animated film itself, and lingering controversy over whether Caro was the right choice for the director of the film, a subjective choice that will vary depending on whether we’re talking about studio requests or fan concerns. There’s also a lot more to the rumor mill that turned early in Mulanis in pre-production, if that interests you.
All this indicates Mulan perhaps this is a more interesting and dramatic story taking place behind the screens than the end result on the screen itself, especially since it will likely be a relatively tamed by Disney.
The Princess of Themyscira flies into theaters for one final Wonder story.
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