Following in the dainty footsteps of Cinderella and Belle, Mulan will be the next Disney princess to undergo a live-action makeover. The legendary Chinese warrior made her Disney debut in a 1998 animated feature.
THR writes that Disney has just picked up a Mulan script from Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek “that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney’s 1998 animated film.” Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We’re the Millers) will produce.
The trade’s specific wording suggests Martin and Hynek’s screenplay might hew a little closer to the original (non-Disney) source material. However there aren’t any more details at present, so there may still be plenty of changes between now and the start of production. What is known is that casting for a Chinese actress to play the lead will get underway shortly, and that Mulan is will hit theaters in 3D on November 2, 2018 as announced by Disney. The studio has had that date set aside for one of their live-action fairy tales since last year. Mulan is currently the only film set for that exact date, but other major releases that month include Universal’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (November 9), Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts sequel (November 16), and Disney’s own Gigantic (November 21).
Disney’s Mulan centered on a young woman who doesn’t quite fit with the expectations of her society. When her aging father is called to war, she disguises herself as a man so she can take his place in the Chinese army. With some help from her small dragon friend, Mulan helps defeat the Huns, becomes a decorated military hero, and wins the heart of her army captain, which technically means Mulan isn’t a princess. She’s just the wife of a powerful military leader and a revered warrior in her own right, but she is still considered part of the Disney Princess franchise.
Disney’s Mulan was a big hit critically and commercially, though it didn’t quite attain the same heights as earlier films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Mulan earned $304 million globally and spawned a direct-to-video sequel, 2005’s Mulan II.
Remaking their animated classics has proved a massively successful endeavor for Disney. Their most recent live-action retelling, Cinderella, has taken in $335 million over three weekends. The studio has several more such projects in the works, including The Jungle Book (2016), Pete’s Dragon (also 2016), Beauty and the Beast (2017), and Dumbo (TBA).
Here we have another live-action remake being done by Disney. Is Mulan a good property worthy of being remade? What would you like to see Disney do differently with this film as opposed to the animated version? Would you like to see Disney stop with the remakes and focus on new, original content instead?
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