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Remake of the classic "Mulan"

2009-11-02 10:43 BJT


"Mulan Joins the Army" is a popular ancient Chinese folk story. The character Hua Mulan was popularized in the West by the 1998 Disney animated film "Mulan". And this November, Hong Kong director Mingle Ma again puts this story onto the silver screen. Like the star-studded films "The Founding of a Republic" and "Bodyguards and Assassins", this latest "Mulan" features an A-list cast. Since many of the scenes were shot on a battlefield, the actors endured a lot. On today's spotlight, we take a peak behind-the-scenes for a closer look at the making of an epic.

The legend is well-known. Hua Mulan joins an all-male army, taking the place of her elderly father, to fight against the nomad's invasion. Propelled by her wits and fearless performance on the battlefield, Mulan is promoted to the rank of general. Soon, while maintaining her disguise, she falls in love with a fellow general.

The 1998 Disney animated version of "Mulan" is the most successful adaptation of the tale thus far. This time, Mingle Ma wants to make it an authentic Chinese legend.

The film features Chinese mainland and Hong Kong actors, including Zhao Wei, Chen Kun, Hu Jun, and Jaycee Chan, as well as the popular Russian singer Vitas.

Zhao Wei, who plays the famous heroine, makes a breakthrough in both her image and manner.

Actress Zhao Wei said, "I have dressed like a man before, but it was all about being funny. This time, I have to actually perform like a man. I'm not sure if the audience will think I'm really manly in this film. Director Ma has been devoted in sculpting my part and Chen Kun's role. So the movie is going to be very romantic."

In full armor and dirt, fighting in a group of male soldiers, it is Zhao Wei's first attempt in playing such a tough role.

"The armor is not real metal, so it's not very heavy. Real armor weighs over 10 kilograms maybe."

Actor Chen Kun also suffered from wearing the armor.

Actor Chen Kun said, "The armor I'm wearing is fake. When I play the action scenes, I have to wear the real armor, which is about 9 kilograms. Sometimes I have to dress in armor that weighs 15 kilograms."

Chen Kun plays Mulan's fellow general and her lover. But it's not the first time that Chen and Zhao have played a couple. In "Painted Skin", they portrayed a powerfully emotional story. As close friends in real life, they have a good connection while performing.

Cool guy Hu Jun plays the nomadic general Maodun, who is the biggest enemy of Mulan. Hu is asked to ride a horse a lot as well as fight in the film. Even as a veteran actor familiar with playing battlefield heroes, he still regards this film a challenge.

Actor Hu Jun said, "My horse loves noodles. I spent a lot of time making friends with it. I have to let it feel familiar with me. I know horses quite well and am confident with my performance on horseback."

Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan is rather relaxed on the set. He plays the king of the nomads.

Jaycee Chan, Actor, said, "Zhao Wei was so serious at work... so was Chen Kun. So I always cheered them up and made the atmosphere less tense."

The grand warfare scenes are a major highlight of the film, and will feature advanced 3-D technology to provide a visual feast for the audience.

Set to be released for the year-end season, "Mulan" is armed and ready to battle it out at the box office.

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: CCTV.com