No cast announced, but Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are rewriting the script.
Tentatively set for November 2, 2018.
The animated version bombed in China back in 1999, but conditions were very different. Disney’s reach in China had been seriously curtailed due to the pro-Tibet film Kundun pissing off the censors, and the “westernization” of Mulan’s story didn’t sit well with the audience.
Now that China is a huge focus for Hollywood, they’re paying more attention to this stuff. One of the complaints China has had recently is that they’ve grokked to Hollywood just sticking a Chinese actor into a blockbuster to check a box. (They’re called “empty vases” by the Chinese.) I would expect Disney to be sensitive to that and place as many Chinese actors in this as possible.
Here’s the conundrum. Hua Mulan, in the poem and folktale, isn’t about a fierce girl taking charge of her life and living large. It’s about a girl doing her duty for her family, then hanging her warrior garb up and becoming a dutiful and complacent wife. (Later versions even have her commit suicide at the end of the story.) It’s a lesson about filial piety, modesty, and honor.
So, how do you turn Mulan, the cartoon we know, into a live-action version that attracts a Chinese audience without being too Chinese for the US?