"Liu Yifei one of the best actors out there"

Digital Spy reports that Rush Hour star Tzi Ma says Mulan live-action is “superior” to the original animation.

Ma, who plays Hua Zhou (Mulan’s father) in the upcoming movie, told Digital Spy that the 2020 film that fans will experience a different kind of Mulan.

“This is not a remake of the animation,” the 57-year-old actor said. “So that would probably be disappointing for some people out there, because the animation was so well-received.”

“I believe this live-action film is superior to the animation, very importantly because of the leadership,” Ma continued. “Niki Caro is the director. She’s bringing in this woman’s point of view, which it needs to be because this movie is about a woman warrior.”

“Niki, given her track record with Whale Rider and McFarland, USA, understands how to tell these stories in a really compelling and meaningful way.”

The Hong Kong born actor, who grew up in New York, went on to speak highly of the film’s star Liu Yifei.

“Liu Yifei, the woman who’s playing Mulan, is in my mind one of the best actors out there,” Ma said. “She’s so engaging and compelling that I believe the audience will fall in love with her at first sight, that they will follow her into this magical mystery tour that will transport this audience into another time.”

“And the fact that we are following the legend of Mulan as opposed to the following an animation of Mulan, I just feel in my bones that at least in terms of principle it is the right way to go. You hope there’s an audience out there that would appreciate this epic. It is an epic film.”

Ma also addressed the disappointment of fans who were hoping for Mushu the dragon to be making an appearance in the live-action film.

“Mushu is a dragon and a dragon is probably predominantly male energy, and we’re talking about a woman warrior,” he said. “I would think another mystical animal would be more apropos to Mulan as opposed to a dragon. That’s my take on it.”

Ma is also currently featured in Wu Assassins on Netflix. In related Wu Assassins news, the show’s star Lawrence Kao recently revealed he was once wrongly suspected and arrested for attempted murder.