ONCE UPON A TIME Recruits Mulan


Update: Sleeping Beauty has also been cast for Season 2

Once Upon A Time has expanded its gallery of fairytale characters for Season 2 by recruiting the legendary warrior Mulan.

EW.com was first on the buzzer with news that the Chinese fighter will be played by Sucker Punch actress Jamie Chung in the eagerly-awaited second season of the ABC fantasy serial. The role is expected to be recurring, so she’ll be on hand when the story needs her.

The character, who was adapted in Disney’s 1998 animated musical film starring Ming-Na and Eddie Murphy, originates from an ancient Chinese poem about Hua Mulan, a young woman who takes her elderly father’s place in the army.

While Mulan’s arrival is intriguing, new recruits were expected with Once consulting producer/writer Jane Espenson recently noting the show’s plans to bring more female fairytale characters into the battle of “good versus evil”, though at the time the hot favorite was a certain Little Mermaid:

“I would hope Ariel would join the show. She’s one we’ve definitely talked about.”

Mulan’s arrival certainly doesn’t rule out Ariel or the numerous princesses that Espenson also mentioned, but it certainly makes the story even more intriguing (at least on paper) and diverse going into Season 2.

How Mulan will fit into the show’s overarching story remains to be seen. There are certainly a few questions to be pondered:

  • Where was Mulan during the events of the first chapter?
  • Who’s side will she be on? Who are her main connections?
  • What’s her own story?
  • What’s the ‘twist’ on the original Mulan?
  • What’s the thinking in introducing her in Season 2?; what impact will she have on the main storyline?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Personally, I’m looking forward to Mulan’s arrival. She’s an exciting character to add to the mix (assuming they don’t ‘Belle her’). Throw in the complexities of magic in a world where the “rules” of magic have yet to be defined (as per the end of the first season), not to mention the alternate dimension storyline, and there’s plenty to look forward to in Once Upon A Time‘s second season.

No doubt spoilery tidbits on Mulan and Season 2 will be spilled when the show rolls into Comic-Con, Saturday, July 14. In the meantime, here’s the Disney Mulan trailer below:

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