This time Mulan is the next subject of Disney tapping into it’s vast library of well loved animated classics to produce another live action adaptation. It will be interesting to see if the casting gets “white washed” or not. This will either be a bold move by Disney where they venture outside their comfort zone and use a predominantly minority cast. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is based on a script by newcomers Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek (who helped bring the Afghan Women’s Writing Project to the American stage), with the odd choice of Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (Kyle XY, The Hangover, We’re the Millers) as producers.
With the success of Alice in Wonderland reinforced by Maleficent and Cinderella, Disney seems to be moving full steam ahead with lavishly produced, even special-effects-heavy live action remakes of their most successful classic films. Cinderella, for example, topped the box office in its opening weekend — the biggest opening weekend of Kenneth Branagh’s directorial career — and has grossed more than $335 million in its first two weeks. It will be followed by a sequel to Alice in Wonderland and live action versions of Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and Dumbo. But Mulan will be the first film in the series that, unlike Wonderland or Maleficent, doesn’t need a retelling or a refocusing to be what it is: an action blockbuster with a female lead.
Of course, there’s no information on casting yet for the film. 1998’s Mulan saw Ming Na, Lea Salonga, BD Wong, Pat Morita, George Takei and others form a majority Asian cast to craft the film’s voicework. One would hope that Disney would continue such a trend of appropriate casting for a film based on (or based on something that was based on) traditional Chinese legend. It’s even possible that Ming Na, Mulan’s speaking voice, could return for a role. After all, the actress is still around and already working in a Disney production: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.