Home Entertainment Disney announce live-action adaptation of MULAN; looking for Chinese lead

Disney announce live-action adaptation of MULAN; looking for Chinese lead

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Disney is continuing with their live-action remake trend. They’ve already done Cinderella and The Jungle Book and are working on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and incredibly even The Lion King. And now we have another classic that will be getting a live-action adaptation: Mulan.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Mulan follows the rise of its titular heroine during the Han Dynasty when as the daughter of a legendary warrior, she impersonates a man to fight against a Hun invasion. The 1998 animated film, which is based on real life events and starred the voice talents of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, DB Wong, George Takei and Pat Morita among others, made a whopping $304 million worldwide at the box office and so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular choice for Disney to adapt into a live action film

Mulan has actually had a live-action adaptation made before, though not by Disney itself. A film was released by Chinese filmmakers back in 2009 titled Mulan: Rise of a Warrior, which told the same story of our heroine and her rise through the Han Dynasty’s army. It’s a story that actually adapts itself well to a live-action story, though the Disney classic introduces a whole lot of extra supernatural characters (who also provided most of the humour in that film) that will likely get brought into this film.


And in keeping with the characters of the story and avoiding any attempts at Hollywood whitewashing, they are looking to cast a Chinese actress in the lead role to bring the film to life. It’s also a clever move, given the rise of the Chinese market in the cinema world (or is that really the case?), though also because Mulan was actually one of the bigger hits for Disney animation in the Chinese market when it was release their back in 1998 and dubbed by a Chinese cast that included Jackie Chan.

With a packed lineup of live-action remakes already in the pipeline for Disney, they are at present only aiming for a 2018 release, though a lot will depend on how the casting and initial script work comes along. Deadline reports that the initial spec script, written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, was purchased by the studio last year and since then, the studio has brought aboard Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurassic World, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and the upcoming Avatar sequel) to get it into shooting shape.


I really enjoyed Disney’s animated take on the story and I look forward to see what they do with this. So far, their track record for these live-adaptations has been quite good, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this one. And that they are keeping the story close to its Chinese roots, while hopefully make it even better and provide something a little different from all the others sounds good to me.

As to who will play the titular heroine, who do you think would most suit the role?

Last Updated: October 6, 2016

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