The first trailer for Disney's live-action adaptation of its animated feature "Mulan" debuted Sunday on Fox during halftime of the 2019 Women's World Cup soccer final.
Following the story of the 1998 hit — minus talking mini-dragon Mushu and Mulan's cricket companion Cri-Kee — the teaser trailer released online at noon finds Mulan (Chinese star Yifei Liu) astride her horse during what the animated film specified as China's Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). As in the original, Mulan's parents expect her obediently to marry. "We have excellent news," Mulan's mother Hua Li (Rosalind Chao) tells her. As her father Hua Zhou (Tzi Ma) and a new character, Mulan's younger sister Hua Xiu (Xana Tang) look on at the dinner table, Li informs Mulan, "The matchmaker has found you an auspicious match."
Her father, sitting with his back to her, does not see the quiet, almost imperceptibly stunned look on Mulan's face. "It is decided," he tells his daughter. "Come and sit down. It is what is best for our family." Mulan assures them, "I will bring honor to us all."
Mulan will eventually take her aged father's place when the Imperial Army demands one man from each family to help repel Northern invaders. As we see an elderly woman tells Mulan that a good wife is "quiet, composed, graceful [and has] discipline," the trailer intercuts shots of Mulan performing elegant martial-arts motions, practicing swordplay and, dressed as a man, drilling with others using bo sticks and leading a charge on horseback.
We ultimately see her in her own attire, her long hair flying as she jumps off a rooftop, twists in the air in slow-motion during a battle, and faces off with her sword before a mounted attack. "It is my duty to fight,” Mulan concludes in a voice-over.
The film is set for theatrical release March 27, 2020.