Disney is putting a live-action 3D Mulan film on the fast track for November 2018, building upon a tried and true strategy of taking already branded and beloved animated films and giving them new life for the big screen. This one also has a female protagonist, not unlike their box office hits Cinderella and Maleficent. The studio plans a worldwide casting search for the lead Chinese actress for the role. This is not the first time that the movie has been made into a live-action film. One was mounted by Chinese filmmakers in 2009 — Mulan: Rise of a Warrior.
The move is interesting, given the strength of the Chinese in the entertainment industry right now and the fact that the company just opened a major theme park in Shanghai so we expect a Mulan-themed adventure ride in the future there. Jackie Chan, the beloved Chinese actor, dubbed the animated musical Mulan for Disney in 1998 when the film was released in China.
The story follows the rise of Mulan during the Han Dynasty when this daughter of a legendary warrior impersonates a man to fight against a Hun invasion. The new live-action film is combining the story of the ballad of the legendary Hua Mulan with the highly popular 1998 animated film, which carried the same name and made a whopping $304M worldwide at the box office.
The spec, written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, was purchased by the studio last year and the project has been on the fast track ever since as they 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.
This comes also as the studio preps a live-action Beauty and the Beast for next year. The first teaser trailer in May was viewed a record 91.8M times in its first 24 hours, besting Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Jason Reed is currently attached to produce the new Mulan along with Chris Bender and Jake Weiner.