One of the stars of Disney's Mulan live-action remake said the film is the most expensive movie Disney has ever made. The film takes inspiration from 1998's animated Mulan, which followed the adventures of Hua Mulan, a legendary Chinese warrior from the Northern and Southern dynasties period of China, who was also a woman. In that story, Mulan disguises herself as a man to take her father's place in the army.
Although Disney initially had planned as far back as 2010 to remake Mulan as a live-action movie, it wasn't until 2015 that the project got off the ground and began development. There was some controversy surrounding what was reportedly the original script, which featured a white male lead, as well as brought in the white savior trope. However, Disney decided to rewrite it, promising that not only would Mulan be the star of the film, but that Chinese actors would play all primary characters in the movie. Eventually, the company hired female director, Niki Caro, and cast star Liu Yifei in the title role. Other actors tied to the project are Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Tzi Ma, Yosan An and Jet Li.
Disney has proven that it is invested in the film. According to Gavin Feng, who tracks Chinese box office and film news, actress Gong Li, who will portray a villain in the live-action Mulan, revealed the remake is Disney's most expensive movie ever with a budget of over $300 million. It takes a lot of money to put together a film of this scope, especially considering the sweeping narrative of Mulan.
Disney released the first look at Mulan in 2018, featuring a photo of Mulan with a sword, ready to fight. Disney has released enough details that it seems the company has taken cues from the original Chinese legend about Mulan and using that as its basis for the live-action film. Mulan has already separated itself from its animated counterpart in that it will not be a musical, but it will incorporate some of the music from the animated film into various scenes.
Although many often overlook the animated version of Mulan, it did reasonably well at the box office and received a mostly positive critical reception. Although many fans criticize Disney for the sheer number of live-action remakes it has already done and has in the works, fans are anxious to see the live-action Mulan when it hits theaters in 2020. Hopefully with such a large budget, Mulan will able to do both the Disney animated version and the original legend justice.
Source: Gavin Feng
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020