The teaser trailer for Disney's live-action Mulan remake has been rated and is expected to premiere online very soon. While most of the studio's recent live-action reimaginings of their animated classics have been hits (Dumbo aside), they've enjoyed the most success so far with the new iterations of their Disney Animation Renaissance properties. Beauty and the Beast, for example, took home a massive $1.27 billion in theaters in 2017, and this year's Aladdin has now become the highest-grossing movie of Will Smith's career.
Up next after this month's The Lion King is Mulan, a fresh take on Disney's animated 1998 feature adaptation of the Chinese legend, and a key film from the latter end of their animation Renaissance. The live-action remake is being directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider; McFarland, USA) and features a cast led by Yifei Liu, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jason Scott Lee, and Jimmy Wong, among other Asian or Asian-American actors. And with a March 2020 release date on the docket, now seems like a reasonable time for Disney to get the movie's marketing up and running.
According to Trailer Track, the Mulan teaser trailer has been rated by the UK's BBFC and will run 1 minute 32 seconds long. Wong, who's playing Ling in the movie, recently hinted on Twitter that the trailer will premiere during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and possibly even the championship on Sunday, July 7. That would make sense, seeing as it should allow the trailer to arrive online in time to begin screening in theaters with The Lion King (starting with its release in China on July 12).
Whereas most of Disney's live-action retellings have been pretty faithful to the animated versions up to this point, the Mulan remake might make some significant changes from the 1998 film. Caro, for starters, has confirmed that music will play a role in the narrative, but also indicated that her movie won't be a full-blown musical like the animated feature and the live-action takes on Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Similarly, Disney has yet to announce an actor for Mulan's dragon buddy Mushu (who was memorably voiced by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 movie) for the remake, despite reports claiming that he will, in fact, show up.
Of course, that may come as welcome news to those who've been wanting Disney's retellings to mix things up more and not just slavishly recreate their animated predecessors in CGI and live-action. Gong has further claimed that Mulan is Disney's most expensive movie ever (with a $300 million budget), which suggests it could wind up looking and feeling more like a Ridley Scott historical epic than the studio's other remakes up to this point. Hopefully, the teaser trailer will shed some light on these matters when it arrives in the next few days.
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020