Disney has unveiled a lot at the D23 Expo in Anaheim this year, most of it relating to the upcoming Disney+ streaming service as well as numerous soon-to-be released films, such as the live-action Mulan remake, which became the subject of controversy last week after star Liu Yifei expressed her support for the controversial Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF).
While Disney has opted to remain silent on the situation, it's clear that the controversy has not held it back from promoting Mulan. New footage was revealed at D23, introduced by director Niki Caro with Liu absent from the presentation, likely to avoid stirring up further controversy in and around Hong Kong.
The clip featured an extended scene in which Mulan visits the matchmaker, her decision to take her father's place in the army and shots from a battle sequence. Caro stated, "It's the timeless story we love, but in live action it's real." She continued, "That's the thing I'm most excited about. For people to experience her story in a very real, very visceral and a very emotional way." This adaptation of the classic Chinese fable is one of several attempts Disney has made in recent years to appeal to the sizeable Chinese box office market.
Mulan has become one of the most prominent symbols used in the of the ongoing Hong Kong Protests. Liu Yifei is one of many Chinese celebrities who have come to the defense of the Communist Party of China and Mulan has come to essentially represent the world's potential acceptance of the CCP's influence and actions.
The protests continue to gain support from pro-democracy supporters across the globe. As it does, the associated #BoycottMulan movement is slowly gaining momentum. Disney is caught in a delicate situation, in which any response to the controversy carries with it a financial risk by potentially alienating one audience or another, each one representing billions in ticket sales. With the March 2020 release of Mulan is still months away, time will tell if the controversy ultimately impacts the success of the remake.
Directed by Niki Caro, Disney's Mulan stars Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Yoson An, Gong Li and Jet Li. The film is scheduled to open on March 27, 2020.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)