Disney is currently making its way through their library of classic animated films and remaking them in live-action. This began by making a creative change to Sleeping Beauty and having Angelina Jolie be the focus in Maleficent. The studio then moved to Cinderella and found great success in that, allowing them and Jon Favreau to make a "live-action" version of The Jungle Book featuring ground-breaking visual effects. This weekend, they also released a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, which is well on its way to a superb opening weekend haul.
Next up for Disney is bringing a new take of Mulan to the big screen. With a previously announced 2018 release date and now Niki Caro as the director attached to the film, Disney is moving into the final stages of pre-production. While initially concerns of white-washing emerged, that will most definitely not be the case here. As this too is a beloved animated classic, fans have been curious what will and won't stay the same. Apparently, one change they are making is eliminating the music.
Caro spoke to Moviefone about her vision for Mulan while promoting her upcoming film The Zookeeper's Wife. After stating it will be "a big, girly martial arts epic," Caro was asked about the presence, or rather lack thereof, that music will have, which she took as an opportunity to confirm their current plans for no songs:
"Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children."
For fans of the original version, this is undoubtedly going to be disappointing news. Mulan features a number of recognizable songs that take place throughout the movie. With 'Honor To Us All,' 'Reflection,' 'I'll Make a Man Out of You,' 'A Girl Worth Fighting For,' and more, there was certainly hope that these would be incorporated in some way.
Disney has taken a few different approaches to incorporating the songs from the original into the live-action versions so far. The Jungle Book sparingly used 'Bear Necessities,' but for Beauty and the Beast they covered all the original songs, plus made new ones for the live-action version. The latter clearly isn't the path they are taking with Mulan, but it is still possible they could fit the themes of some of the original numbers into the movie as a subtle nod to the animation.
There is also the possibility that Disney and Caro could change their tune in the coming months and find ways to incorporate the songs into the film after all. It is still early so these plans are not set in stone, but it also would be somewhat surprising for them to change their approach at this point.
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020