Last March, Disney started developing a live-action remake of their 1998 animated hit Mulan, following in the footsteps of recent live-action remakes such as Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book, which have all been big hits at the box office. Today we have word that the project will be a 3D live-action remake, with the studio setting a November 2, 2018 release date. As of now, no other movies are set for release on that date, but it will come a week before Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on November 9, 2018 and two weeks before Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 on November 16, 2018.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that there is no director attached to the project yet, but Jason Reed will produce along with Chris Bender and Jake Weiner. The studio has also brought on screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) to rewrite the original spec script Disney bought last year from Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin. The spec script is said to be a “jumping off point” for a “more nuanced and elaborate adaptation,” that combines elements of the original Chinese ballad with the 1998 animated film.
The original Mulan centered on the title character, voiced by Ming-Na Wen, who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place on the battlefield. With the help of her beloved dragon sidekick Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy), Mulan becomes a brave warrior who becomes one of her country’s most honored heroines. The original Mulan voice cast also included Miguel Ferrer, Harvey Fierstein, June Foray, James Hong, Pat Morita, B.D. Wong and George Takei. Mulan earned over $304 million worldwide during its theatrical release, and spawned the 2004 sequel Mulan II.
Disney’s 2010 hit Alice in Wonderland, which took in over $1 billion worldwide, spawned a slew of live-action fairy tale adaptations from the studio. 2014’s Maleficent took in over $750 million worldwide, Cinderella has pulled in $543.5 million globally last year and this year’s hit The Jungle Book has earned $966.2 million worldwide. The studio will next release Beauty and the Beast on March 17, 2017, which features an all-star cast including Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen.
Disney is set to launch a global casting search for a Chinese actress to play Mulan. The studio will likely start production late next year, although an official shooting schedule has yet to be confirmed. With the studio putting this project on the fast track, hopefully we’ll hear more about this highly-anticipated 3D movie soon.