Is Zhang Ziyi The Right Person to Star in Hua Mulan

Zhang Ziyi has to wear men’s clothes again.

On the Venice Film Festival, Zhang Ziyi told the reporter that although the director and the script have not been decided yet, she is sure to star in a live-action version of "Mulan," which will be jointly produced by Harvey Weinstein and Beijing-based City Glory Picture company, according to Sina.com.

Can she be the right actress to star as Hua Mulan, a character that couldn’t be more familiar to every Chinese? The answer has yet to be seen.

In the Chinese tale, Hua Mulan is a young woman who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s place in the army and join the battles about 1,500 years ago. Every Chinese is familiar with this character and her story. Since Mulan had to stay in the army for quite a long time without being noticed by her comrades, she could not be too beautiful or slim. Mulan had to be be very resourceful, otherwise she could not overcome all those problems brought by the differences between men and women, especially in ancient times.

The most important thing is, although successfully disguising herself as a brave and coarse man, Mulan must still be a woman full of love. Because love for her family is the original power that drove her to do these things. So even if Zhang can make the audience forget she is a girl on the screen, she may still lose applause if she can’t make the character radiate a deep, natural love.

Weinstein is one of Hollywood’s most prolific heavyweight producers known for his role as executive vice-producer for blockbusters such as "Lord of the Rings" and "Kill Bill."

According to the deal between Harvey Weinstein and the Beijing-based City Glory Picture, the partners will split the US$20 million cost of "Mulan."

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