Disney’s live-action adaptation of beloved animated adventure MULAN already boasts a star-studded cast of some of China’s most legendary actors–Jet Li, Gong Li, and Donnie Yen among them–with Chinese household name Liu Yifei taking on the role of the titular badass. But with their latest casting announcement, it seems they decided to take a different route, casting a relative unknown as Mulan’s love interest: Yoson An, a New Zealander of Chinese descent.
This will be An’s biggest role to date; previously, he’s appeared in the HBO Asia drama GRACE and upcoming Jason Statham shark thriller THE MEG.
An will be playing Chen Honghui, a new character that’s already stirred up controversy amongst fans of the 1998 film–largely because he’s not Li Shang. Whereas Shang was Mulan’s young general (and for many, a bisexual icon), Chen’s a fellow soldier, whose competitive streak leads him to hate her at first, before learning that she’s actually a chick and falling in love with her.
Congrats to An! We can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the role.