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Jingle Ma's Mulan film, starring Vicky Zhao and Aloys Chen, is scheduled to release on November 27th in China.
Posters and images can be seen at Mtime
PKU Starlight originally planned to make the film with director Stanley Tong
for the international market. Eventually, they lowered the budget, changed the
director, completely re-wrote the script, and focused mainly on the Chinese market.
Also Arclight Films/Easternlight Films has a version of Mulan story in pre-production,
"Mulan - in 3D". Chuck Russell is listed as director
and Iris Rey the writer. No cast has been attached.
Beijing-based PKU Starlight International held a press conference in Beijing
on Feb. 10, announcing that the production of their version of the Hua Mulan film
has started. Director Jingle Ma, actress Vicky Zhao Wei, actor Chen Kun,
and 11 years old Xu Jiao (CJ7
) who will play the child Mulan
attended the conference. The film will also star Jaycee Chan (Jackie Chan's
son) and Russian singer Vitas. It will be shot mainly in Hebei province
and north-west China's desert areas, and it is aiming to release in late
2009. The budget of the film was not disclosed but it is understood that it will be over $7.3m.
Chinese media reported that director Jingle Ma's Hua Mulan film will start
filming next month. Chinese actress Vicky Zhao Wei (Red Cliff 1 & 2
, Painted Skin
, Shaolin Soccer
will star as the female lead and actor and singer Aloys Chen Kun
, The Music Box
) will be the male lead.
Filming is expected to last until June at various locations including
film studios in Beijing and Yunnan Province.
According to "Variety", director Jingle Ma confirmed his next project
will be on the legendary female warrior Hua Mulan. The film is due
to begin lensing next February on a budget of US$6.45 million.
Chinese language media reported that director Jingle Ma (Silver
) is going to make a version of "Hua Mulna" film. The film may
star Singapore singer Stefanie Sun and Hong Kong actor Louis Koo.
The production is aiming to start next February. When reporters asked Ma
for confirmation, he said that he cannot disclose anything due to the contract with
the production company.
According to "Hollywood Reporter", MoviePlus will team with China's China Film Group
and Xinhua Media Entertainment to make a live version of the Mulan film
(not sure if this is the same project in previous report
which is currently scheduled to start next spring.
The script is said to be written by debuting Canadian screenwriter Iris Rey.
More details including the director can be expected to be announced next month.
In a recent interview,
Michelle Yeoh A - Z
Michelle was asked about the Hua Mulan
She said: "Hope one day. 'H' for hope, one day it will happen."
Los Angeles-based producer MoviePlus has announced that they will co-produce a $30 million
Chinese movie "Mulan" with Beijing-based PKU Starlight Group. The production is aiming to
start by next March at the Hengdian World Studios in eastern China's Zhejiang province.
"There's no word on casting. Chinese actresses Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi have been
rumored as possible leads," reported the
As far as I know, this Mulan project is unrelated to Wang Hui-Ling's script for Michelle
(see previous update).
The rumors said they may cast the Chinese pop singer Li Yuchun as Hua Mulan.
Chinese media reported that a Hollywood production company recently
had discussions in Shanghai with Huaying Film Co. regarding
the production of Hua Mulan
. Reports said that filming
is aiming to start in fall of 2008, with Zhang Ziyi starring as
Hua Mulan. Michelle will play an important and complicated role in
the film as a Chinese princess who was sent to marry in Xiongnu, the
nation that Mulan and the army were fighting against.
The script is penned by Crouching Tiger
's Wang Hui-Ling, who has been
developing this project for Michelle for at least the past five years.
The director is going to be chosen between Hong Kong directors Johnny To
(The Heroic Trio
Tsui Hark (Peking Opera Blues
), according to the reports.
A decision is expected to be made in a month.
In a recent interview, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi revealed that
she may appear in a Hua Mulan film. She said the production won't
start for a year or two, the script is still under revision(s) and no
director has been fixed. Although she did not say which Mulan project
it is, I think it should be the Weinsteins' one.
is a photo from the Shanghai Television Festival
that took place earlier this month - it is a poster of Stanley Tong's
upcoming "Hua Mulan". It says:
'Movie "Hua Mulan" is Scheduled to Shoot Soon', confirming
the title of Tong's film will be "Hua Mulan", in both Chinese and
English. The film is planned to be shot in Yunnan, Xinjiang and Canada.
These pictures (
are not directly related to any of the Mulan projects
we have mentioned before. They are set photos from a 40-volume historical
TV series, "Hu Jia Han Yue", which is currently shooting in Hengdian,
Zhejiang province, China. Hua Mulan is a sideline figure in the
series. Do you recognize the girl who plays Mulan in the photos? She is Zuo
Xiaoqing, 24, who was national champion in rhythmic gymnastics, now a
known actress in China. Those of you who have seen Michelle's
The Touch (2002)
should still remember the girl, who played the teenage Yin (Michelle)
in the film - yes that's her.
Director Stanley Tong yesterday announced in Beijing that his version
of Mulan, which was previously said to be postponed, will start filming
in October in Yunan province. He said the main female lead will be
a Chinese but may not be a well-experienced actress. And the male leads will
include three actors, one each from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Korea. Tong
said the final announcement of the cast will be made in about a month.
Early on, Stanley Tong denied he had asked Zhang Ziyi to star in his
film. Zhang also confirmed she had not been contacted by Tong.
A few years ago when several companies wanted to make Mulan films in
China, Michelle and Thomas Chung obtained permission to use "Hua
Mulan" as the planned film title. Now several years have passed, none of
the planned films has been made, much less made it to screen. Stanley
Tong now has obtained the Chinese rights to the "Hua Mulan" title and
got authorization back in March to shoot the film in China. Tong's
Mulan project will use his old crew from The Myth
(starring Jackie Chan), including the scriptwriter Li Hai-shu.
The main production company of the project is going to be the Weinstein Company,
the movie production company launched last year and operated by former
Miramax heads Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Zhang Ziyi is in negotiations
to star in the Mulan role, according to "Hollywood Reporter". Some
Chinese media reported filming is aiming to start next spring.
The Weinsteins have been interested in this version of the Mulan film
since 4 years ago. Many Asian film fans are not unfamiliar with the
name of Miramax/Weinsteins in the past, and their interests and
treatments for Asian films.
It is not clear if the title of the film will remain as "Hua Mulan", or
simply be "Mulan". With the Weinsteins' involvement, can we still
hope to see a non-westernized version of the story of this Chinese
On a side note, Stanley Tong has postponed his Mulan project and his
next film will now be a World War II film.
Taiwanese "UDN" reporter spoke with Michelle at Cannes about the
"Variety" report on Hua Mulan
. Michelle said the crew members
will include Peter Pau as cinematographer and Tim Yip as the art director,
both worked with Michelle on Crouching Tiger
. Director is yet
to be fixed.
Michelle will not portray Hua Mulan as previously planned. She said
there is a possibility she may play the role of Hua Mulan's master
- a skilled martial artist and a nun (like Cheng Pei-pei who played
Michelle's master in Wing Chun
Frankly, it is a very sad news, at least for me, that Michelle has abandoned
plans to star as Mulan herself...
"There is no one
better than Michelle Yeoh, our modern day heroine, to truly bring this
legendary heroic woman warrior to life on the silver screen."
It was stated on the top of this page four years ago.
I still truly believe so.
"Variety" reported today that Michelle will not star in Hua Mulan
but instead will be one of the exec producers, sharing
credits with Terence Chang, John Woo's long-time producer and business partner,
and David Dong, who runs "Meridian Pictures Group", a Shanghai-based company.
The film budget is about $20 million and it is aimed for a late 2007 release.
If this is true...... well...... guess it is, you will not see
many more updates on this Hua Mulan
page since I am not interested
in seeing anyone, except for Michelle herself, playing this Chinese
legendary heroine. Sorry.
Stanley Tong's Mulan film is aiming to start production around this
October. His assistant told reporters that they had sent the script to
Zhang Ziyi but she hasn't given them an answer. They are also considering
a few other actresses to play the Mulan role. Tong plans to shoot the
film in China and Canada. The budget of the film is about US$20 million.
During her trip to Taiwan (see News of Oct 14)
Michelle said that she has not, and will not give up the plan to make her
own Hua Mulan
. She also mentioned that Chow Yun-Fat liked Wang Hui-Ling's
script very much.
Director Stanley Tong said during the promotion of his new
film that he's in preparation for his version of the Hua Mulan
story. Entitled "The Legend of Mulan", Tong had originally invited Lucy Liu to
star as Hua Mulan three years ago. Reportedly he's now
aiming to get Zhang Ziyi to star as the lead. Tong said they will make both
English and Chinese versions. He also told reporters that his version is not
the same one as Michelle's.
During the past year there have been several rounds of rumors suggesting
that co-producer Thomas Chung might be trying to make Hua Mulan
without Michelle's involvement. Yesterday the Taiwanese news agency "UDN" contacted
the copyright owner of the Hua Mulan
script, Wang Hui-Ling,
who was also the main scriptwriter for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ms. Wang said she wrote the Hua Mulan
script entirely for
Michelle and she will totally respect Michelle's wishes in the matter.
I have not heard anywhere that Michelle has hinted she might give up Hua Mulan
Updates on the reported Mulan projects: Fans may have to wait for
quite a while to see Michelle's version of Mulan, if it will
ever get made. Michelle has been busy with a few other projects:
Memoirs of a Geisha
will be released at the end of 2005, she will also guest star in Jet
Li's upcoming Huo Yuanjia
, and is slated to star in
, a space mission science fiction film with British
director Danny Boyle, which will begin filming this summer.
As for the other two Mulan projects: director Stanley Tong doesn't seem
to have a plan to make his Mulan film anytime in the near future
either. Disney made their animated Mulan II
as a straight to
video sequel in 2004, and the DVD came out in early 2005.
On today's Empire Online (U.K.)
at the end of a report on a John Woo - Chow Yun-Fat future project,
it says that Chow Yun-Fat "is next up for Chinese-language actioner
Hua Mulan, with Michelle Yeoh."
Co-producer Thomas Chung, who's currently in Shanghai, accepted phone interviews by
some Hong Kong newspapers on July 31. He assured that there is no change
for the leading role of the film.
China's "BigStar" reported that the production of Hua Mulan
to start around the end of this year. According to the report, co-producer Thomas
Chung said Michelle will definitely star in the film. But the director
will not be Peter Pau. There are two candidates for the director and the
position is currently under negotiation. The script has been fixed. Most likely Chow
Yun-Fat will star.
"Tianjin Daily" (China)
reporters heard from co-producer Thomas
Chung, who's in Shanghai for film and TV related business, that the filming
of Hua Mulan
is currently scheduled to start this winter. The
snowy scenes will be important parts of
the film. The producers have been keeping contact with Chow Yun-Fat
and hope that he will have time around the end of the year. They
also have a few other candidates for the male lead in case that the
schedule would not work with Chow. Asked if Michelle will
still be the female lead, Chung said: "Of course!"
During a recent visit to Taiwan, Michelle said the production of
was not expected to start until next year. She is preparing
a few other films. See News (May 7th)
for more details.
"Youth Times" (China)
reported that the script
of Hua Mulan
had been re-written a few times and it was
complete. Michelle loves the script but unfortunately it is too long
for a film. She has been working on modifying the script.
According to "Information Times" (China)
interviewed Michelle at the MTV Style Awards
), the final version of the
script of Hua Mulan
is nearly completed. The male lead is still
aiming for Chow Yun-Fat. However, the director may not have been fixed.
It looks like none of the previously reported Mulan films will be
starting soon. Stanley Tong has Past Tense
scheduled for next
spring, and his Time Breaker
(formerly Titanium Rain
Jackie Chan hasn't announced a starting date. Rumors said Tong wants
Korean actor Won Bin for the male lead in his The Legend of Mulan
but the shooting wouldn't start before next fall. As for the
Korea-China's co-production Mulan film, currently no production date
has been scheduled.
When asked about her film Hua Mulan
at the signing ceremony with
Huayi (details see
, Oct. 20
told reporters that the production is expected to start in September
or October next year. They will invite Chow Yun-Fat as well as a
number of mainland actors.
Michelle mentioned a bit about Hua Mulan
in a recent interview
on her Silver Hawk
. See the interview at
Silver Hawk news (Oct.
Asked about Chow Yun-Fat's participation in Hua Mulan
told reporters at HK FILMART that she is the No. 1 fan of Chow Yun-Fat
and of course she hopes he could co-star with her. She had talked to Chow
before. Since now the production date hasn't been fixed, it's not known
if Chow's schedule would fit.
"Tianjin Daily" reporters heard from line producer Liu Er-Dong that
it is not certain whether Chow Yun-Fat can still play the general in the film
since the production date has been postponed by half year until next February.
Chow Yun-Fat may have other film(s) scheduled for next spring.
Mulan rides again
- a SCMP article which talks about 4
versions of Mulan films in
development: Michelle's Hua Mulan
, Stanley Tong's
The Legend of Mulan
, Chinese-Korean co-produced Mulan
(note that their
as the film title has been denied by Chinese
authority. It is expected they will have to come up with another title
when the production begins), and, a Disney planned Mulan II
It looks like there will be much discussion about this Chinese ancient
figure in the year 2004!
Update on the Korea-China's Mulan film: "Apple Daily" (Hong
reported that Korean actress Jeon Ji Hyun (My Sassy Girl
had signed on the project to play the Mulan role. Shooting is scheduled
to begin in October and the film is due to have a 2004 Christmas release.
The film's budget is about US$8 million and it will be mainly shot
in mainland China. The male lead of the film hasn't been fixed.
According to "Jiangnan Metro" (China)
, line producer
Liu Er-Dong said the starting date of the production of Hua Mulan
would be postponed until
next February. Because of the SARS outbreak in China, the
pre-production of the film, including the set construction at various
locations, had to be suspended. Although SARS in China is gradually
getting under control, the fight against SARS is still far from over.
Certain scenes in the film, such as a huge battle involving hundreds
of horses in the grasslands, need to be filmed in summer time. However,
the current situation makes it impossible to get all the preparation done
in time and start shooting this summer. Currently filming is scheduled to
commence next February. The five-month shooting will cover both winter and
summer seasons. Pre-production is to be resumed this November.
According to "The Hollywood Reporter" and "Screen Daily" (article
links in News)
, the production date of Hua Mulan
is set for
August 22nd. The film will include a major battle scene - a re-enactment
of a battle between the Han Chinese and the invading Turks - featuring
more than 1,000 extras and 300 horses. Korea Pictures has already
acquired the Korean rights to the film and Mongkol has bought the rights
The planned reunion of Michelle and Chow Yun-Fat is one of the
in this historical epic. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be involved in
a project that brings these two icons together again," said
co-producer Thomas Chung.
Report from Hong Kong: co-producer Thomas Chung announced that Chow
Yun-Fat had agreed to star in Hua Mulan
. On a telephone interview
of May 14th, Chow told reporters that he would go to Beijing in August
for the film shooting. The film will be shot in Mandarin.
Yesterday "Jiangnan Metro" (China)
reporters talked on
the phone with Liu Er-Dong, the line producer of Hua Mulan
now resting at his Beijing home. Mr. Liu said the location scouting
was completed. However, the production date, originally planned for
mid-August, may be indefinitely postponed until SARS in China gets under
After the location scouting in Qinghai, Ningxia, Gansu, and Xinchang
(Zhejiang), the Hua Mulan
team went to Hengdian (Zhejiang
province) on April 17th.
Line producer Liu Er-Dong said they would go to Jiangxi province -
to Wuyuan and Lushan Mountain - for the next two days. Then the team
will move to Beijing, which will be the last stop for the location scouting.
In a phone interview with Taiwanese reporters for his new release,
, Chow Yun-Fat admitted that he had
met with Peter Pau, Michelle, and Thomas Chung for Hua Mulan
Filming work is expected to start at the middle of August. Chow Yun-Fat
said he was looking forward to being Mark (his famous role - the
which he essayed in A Better Tomorrow
of Sui Dynasty. In another interview, art director cum costume designer
Tim Yip said that they were going to try various character designs
on Chow Yun-Fat, including beard of different lengths.
The Chinese media reported that a team of Hua Mulan
crew members, including director Peter Pau, art director Tim Yip,
action director Corey Yuen, and line producer Liu Er-Dong, were in
Xinchang (Zhejiang province, southern China) conducting some location
scouting for the film on April 12th.
They had been in northwestern China - Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai provinces,
and next will go to Hengdian (Zhejiang province), Wuyuan (Jiangxi
province) and Lushan Mountain. The location scouting is expected
to be completed this month. A Xinchang tour agent told reporters this was
the second time Hua Mulan
team had been to Xinchang.
According to Liu Er-Dong, who was also the line producer for The
and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
, shooting in
Xinchang will be mainly taken place during the winter. There will be
more than 400 crew members and 80 vehicles for the shooting, which is
scheduled to take place between August and next January.
Note on other Mulan films: there were rumors saying director Zhang Yimou
has been tapped to direct the Korean-Chinese Mulan film. Recently a spokesman
from Zhang Yimou's company said that the Korean company did contact with Zhang
earlier this year but he would not direct it. Instead, he's preparing
another Wuxia film after Hero
Taiwanese reporters interviewed Tim Yip. The art director and costume
designer of Hua Mulan
had just returned from Yinchuan
(Ningxia province, where a section of the Yellow River lies), where he
and others had been doing location scouting for the film. Tim Yip also
has been working on the film design. According to him, the film will
have a natural and realistic style. He additionally reported that
the Hua Mulan
people had invited some scholars and historians for
consulting. Yip further stated that the film's
vast battle scenes would be much bigger than those in Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon
. There might be some CGI enhanced battle
scenes, but 90% of them would be real. As for costume and character
designs, Tim Yip said that more than 10,000 costumes would be needed.
He would like to design Michelle's character - while in armor - in a way
that makes it more feminine than might be expected, while that for
Chow Yun-Fat, the male lead, will be comparatively
less modern. Note that there
have been reports that Chow Yun-Fat may not be able to star due to
scheduling conflicts. But according to Tim Yip, the male lead is Chow. More
than half of the main cast and crew are from Crouching Tiger,
. "Only Ang Lee is missing," said Tim Yip.
Tim Yip also told reporters that in future he will work on the
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
prequel, which is currently (still)
in the script writing stage.
Another note on Stanley Tong's The Legend of Mulan
recently Tong said that he would make Jackie Chan's Titanium Rain
(beginning in July) before his Mulan film.
Michelle's Silver Hawk
(formerly Masked Crusader
) started shooting on March 28th.
But Hua Mulan
has not been forgotten. Co-producer Thomas Chung
told reporters that some crew members are currently in northern China
doing location scouting. Filming is scheduled to commence in August
is expected to wrap by July). There will be four
or five Filming locations in China which include sections of
northeastern China, Xinjiang, and Gansu. The editor of the film
will be William Chang, who's a famous Hong Kong art director/costume
designer and who also was the
editor of In the Mood for Love
, Ashes of Time
Update on Stanley Tong's The Legend of Mulan
: it's not known
if the female lead has been fixed. Currently Stanley Tong is focusing more
on the preparation of Jackie Chan's Titanium Rain
Producer Thomas Chung talked to reporters about Hua Mulan
was in Shanghai. The film is currently in the pre-production stage.
The main cast and crew are fixed except for the male lead. Chow Yun-Fat
is unlikely to star due
to schedule conflict. "Love relationship makes an important part of the
film. The male lead has to be internationally known, have good acting
skills and looks, and have screen chemistry with Michelle," said Chung.
The script is written by Wang Hui-Ling, one of the scriptwriters for
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
. Ms. Wang started working on the
script for Hua Mulan
as early as March 2001. She spent about
9 months doing research on the subject - going through history
books and related articles. The script had been re-written 7 times
and the producers are very satisfied with the final version. "The
main theme is love - of people, family, and country," said Thomas
Chung, "It has one-to-one fights as well as large scale war battles.
It has drama. It will be the biggest challenge Michelle ever faces."
Corey Yuen and Tim Yip will be among the crew members, as well as
Po Chu Chui (associate producer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Reportedly crew members have been doing location scouting in
Qinghai and Zhejiang. The production will begin on Hua Mulan
after the end of that for Masked Crusader
In a recent interview with
Tim Yip, Taiwanese reporters asked him about the art/costume design
for Michelle's upcoming Hua Mulan
. Tim Yip said he had started
preparation and had been collecting materials. It is a classical costume
film, and it has many large-scale war scenes. Some research on the historical
background needs to be done. In March, he will go with other members of
the Hua Mulan
team to northwestern China, including Qinghai and
Shaanxi, for location scouting. Filming is scheduled to begin at the
end of June or early July.
Update on Stanley Tong's The Legend of Mulan
: some Hong Kong
reporters interviewed Stanley Tong at a public event.
Tong told the reporters that the shooting was planned to begin
in March and it would be interrupted when Jackie Chan's
starts. He said the female lead for the film had been
fixed and a contract would be signed at the end of this month. Asked if
it's Lucy Liu or Zhang Ziyi, Tong said it's neither of them. He did not
disclose the name but said that she's a known American Chinese actress.
The Legend of Mulan
will be shot in Jiangsu, Shanghai and
northeastern China, on a budget about $25 million.
According to "Oriental Daily" (Hong Kong)
, the candidates
for the male lead of Michelle's Hua Mulan
are Chow Yun-Fat and
Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Butterfly
, In the Mood For Love
). The film company
is contacting with them to see if their schedules would fit.
About the crew: besides the director Peter Pau, reportedly the action
director for Hua Mulan
will be Corey Yuen, whose full directorial
credits include Michelle's
in 1985. The art director will be the
Oscar winner for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
, Tim Yip.
In a recent interview (see News,
Dec. 13, for more details)
, Michelle talked
about her film plans for the upcoming year. The shooting of
is expected to begin in February. Michelle will
produce Jiang Shi
in April. Hua Mulan
is planned to go
in production during the second half of the year.
China's "Yangtse Evening Post" has a conflicting report with the previous
Taiwan's "Da Cheng" report on Stanley Tong's The Legend of Mulan
It says that Tong is planning to start The Legend of Mulan
February. Stanley Tong said the story would be very close to what was
recorded in history books. He refused to reveal whether Lucy Liu would
be the female lead
of the film. Shooting of Jackie Chan's Titanium Rain
to begin in June and may go on at the same time as his Mulan film.
Tong hopes to wrap both films by the end of 2003.
A representative from Shanghai Film Studios said the script of the Korean
company's Mulan film has not been fixed, although the original script was
passed by the Chinese authorities.
Tianjin Film Studio, Michelle's Chinese collaborator for The Touch
and the future Hua Mulan
, said Michelle would make Masked
first and that there was no further information on the
shooting schedule for Hua Mulan
at this moment.
"Da Cheng" (Taiwan)
news: Stanley Tong's
The Legend of Mulan
will be postponed due to the problems with
the script and the working schedule of Lucy Liu. Tong will first shoot
Jackie Chan's Titanium Rain
. Work on it is expected to commence
sometime next spring.
According to a "Variety" report last week, Stanley Tong's
$30 million The Legend of Mulan
will start shooting next February.
"The English-language drama will be a period piece with Americans in the
leading roles." After his Mulan film, Tong will direct Jackie Chan's
, a $40 million film that begins shooting in June.
"The Hollywood Reporter" on Hua Mulan
The six-month principal shoot for the $25 million-$35 million film is
scheduled to start mid-2003. It is scheduled for a summer
Michelle is going to make another action film,
, during the preparation of Hua Mulan
more details see News
According to a recent report from "Nanfang Daily" (China)
is expected to start shooting next spring and
hit screens during summer 2004.
Yesterday's "Dayoo" (China)
has a report on a spokesman
from China Film Co-production
Corporation speaking of the three Mulan projects: "These three Mulan films
will be co-productions of Michelle Yeoh, Stanley Tong, and a Korean
company with Tianjin Film Studio, China Film Group Corporation, and
Shanghai Film Studios respectively. After they submitted the scripts,
we informed them of the clashing situation. But all three parties
firmly insisted on going ahead with their projects. We looked at the
carefully. Although all three scripts are based on the same Mulan
legend, the portrayal of the characters and the angles of the story
telling are very different. In particular, Michelle Yeoh's script, which
was written by Wang Hui-Ling, a scriptwriter of Crouching Tiger,
, has a very exquisite description of feelings and
shows the hand of a master."
This source also told the reporters the titles of the three submitted
scripts. Michelle's script is entitled "Hua Mulan". Stanley Tong's
is "The Legend of Mulan". And the Korean/Shanghai one is simply called
"Mulan". Earlier reports said that Michelle's film title "Hua Mulan"
had been approved.
But some of the Mulan films may have to change the title. One of them
will be given "Mulan in Troubled Times" as a working title and it may be
changed again at the time of release.
In an interview with Shanghai Film Studios, the reporters were told
that their script was written by Korean. The style is very similar to
. The story and characters are bit wild and violent. The
character of the male lead is very interesting - he was a playboy but
later became a hero on the battle field. The Korean company is
currently working with Shanghai Film Studios for the preparation of
the film. The Korean company wanted Zhang Ziyi to play Hua Mulan and
Shanghai Film Studios have been in talks with Zhang.
Stanley Tong's film will be shot in English and there will be more
emphasis on actions. Taiwanese news reports had Tong in L.A. earlier
this month to meet with
Lucy Liu and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (The Scorpion King
He hopes to get Lucy Liu to play Hua Mulan and The Rock to play the
general of an opposing army. A "DaCheng" (Taiwan)
had a telephone
interview with Stanley Tong a couple of days ago, who was in Shaanxi
(northwest of China) doing the location scouting. Tong said both Lucy
Liu and The Rock showed strong interests in the project and they are
trying to see if their schedules would fit. If things go well, the
production might begin as early as October, in Shaanxi.
According to"China Times" (Taiwan)
, through the costume
designer William Chang, Michelle was contacting the Taiwanese director
Yang Pei-Pei, who directed the (Taiwanese) Chinese TV series "Hua Mulan"
in 1999, to buy a costume which was used in the series. The costume
is a suit of armor made of thick and heavy leather material. It was
hand-sewn and costs more than 100,000 Taiwan dollars (about US$2,900).
Yang Pei-Pei said it was the most expensive costume she had ever used
in her productions. Michelle is planning to wear this costume when
she makes a teaser poster for her Hua Mulan
It is interesting that according to my research, there had been no modern
style movie on Hua Mulan subject made in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.
Thus far, there have been only some Chinese opera style movies
(that were filmed using opera performances),
from several decades ago. The most recent work is Yang Pei-Pei's 48
episode TV series which starred Hong Kong actress Anita Yuen as Hua Mulan.
Work is expected to begin on Michelle's Hua Mulan
early next year,
right after the Chinese New Year. The film will depict the epic journey
of the legendary young woman who took her father's place and
led her country into battle.
The script is written by Wang Hui-Ling, one of the scriptwriters for
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
. The first draft was completed
in March. An enhanced version was sent to China Film Co-production
Corporation over the summer and the script has been approved by
the authorities. Filming will take place in
China, and the scenes that will be shot include battles on the
frozen Yellow River and in snow covered mountains.
The budget of the film is about US$30 millions. It's a bigger and more
challenging film than The Touch
. Michelle herself has said that
"Mulan will be the best, the meatiest and most challenging role on all
The news of Michelle portraying Hua Mulan came out as early
as July 2001 and got confirmed at December 2001. I was totally thrilled.
I've been waiting for one day to see Michelle as Hua Mulan since
the day that I watched Disney's animated Mulan
back in June 1998.
It looks like my dream is finally going to come true!
About Hua Mulan