Who is the New Villain of Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’?

The fiercest warrior in all of China is returning to the silver screen. This time, Disney’s 2020 version of Mulan holds a few new characters, including a sorceress and a warrior named Böri Khan. Who is the villain of Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan? Learn more about this upcoming movie, here.

Disney’s live-action ‘Mulan’ premieres in theaters March 2020

Hot off the heels off of blockbuster remakes like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Dumbo, Disney is creating a live-action adaptation of their animated classic, Mulan. Actress Liu Yifei portrays the title character, the loyal, brave, and true Hua Mulan. (This is a different name from the 1998 Disney movie, which featured the character Fa Mulan.)

This movie releases in theaters on March 27, 2020, and presumably on Disney+ in the months to follow. However, this story will not be exactly the same as Disney’s animated classic.

It’s up to Mulan, masquerading as a man, to save her family and all of China from the attackers. In this version, there will be no cricket or Mushu. However, Mulan does have a sister and a new mentor and love interest, Chen Honghui. There are also two new villains in Disney’s live-action adaptation.

Gong Li attends the opening ceremony and screening of 'The Dead Don't Die'
Gong Li attends the opening ceremony and screening of ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ | Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

There are new characters in Disney’s live-action ‘Mulan’

As a more “culturally authentic” portrayal of the original Chinese story, this live-action version of Mulan has a few new characters. That includes Böri Khan, a ruthless leader attempting to invade China, portrayed by Jason Scott Lee. This villain fights alongside a sorceress and witch named Xian Lang, portrayed by actress Gong Li.

“I am a fan of Mulan. China had this animation and later on, Disney had its own version,” actress Gong Li said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “In this film, I act as a wizard who can become a hundred thousand eagles. So Disney making this film from this foreign point of view of this ancient Chinese female hero — I think it’s a really good thing.”

Will this version of ‘Mulan’ have music?

There’s been some rumors and speculation regarding the structure of this upcoming movie. Being that characters like Li Shang and Mushu have been removed, some fans wondered if this version would include songs like “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

Disney seemingly answered the question with the movie’s official trailer; the clip included an instrumental version of “Reflection” playing in the background. During one interview, the director of this upcoming movie discussed the role of music and cultural authenticity in Mulan.

“In all my work that is centered in cultures not my own, I hope that comes through because that is incredibly important to me,” director Niki Caro said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “… As the projects get bigger, the more certain I am that cultural authenticity and specificity is the only way to approach my work.”

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan premieres in theaters on March 27, 2020.