Niki Caro, director of the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Mulan,” has admitted that her jaw dropped after witnessing Donnie Yen’s martial arts skills on set.
The 53-year-old director told AsiaOne
that Yen’s astonishing display of swordsmanship was so quick that she had to shoot the scene again in slow motion.
“One of my favourite moments on set was the first time I experienced Donnie Yen’s martial arts skills in real life. As Commander Tung, he does a sword display in front of all the recruits and my jaw hit the floor,” she said.
“The way that man moves, and the way he moves his sword — (it was) so fast I literally couldn’t see it move in real-time. I had to shoot the sequence again in slow motion, just so I could see what he was doing. It was astonishing!”
The live-action adaptation is packed with several well-known stars in the Asian community, including Gong Li, Cheng Pei-pei, Tzi Ma and martial artist Jet Li.
“Jet Li brought gravitas and heart to the role of the Emperor,” she said. “Working with Gong Li on a character that’s a counterpoint to Mulan was a creative highlight of working on this film. Cheng Pei-pei’s brilliant comedic timing provides a fun wink and a nod for the fans of the animated classic.”
Many iconic elements from the animated Disney movie will not be crossing over into the live-action adaptation. In a previous interview, Caro explained that they will remove both the musical elements as well as the lovable little dragon, Mushu, from the original film to make the adaptation seem more realistic