After the runaway success of its (fantastic) Cinderella adaptation, Disney is hard at work developing more live-action takes on its classic animated films. And with Beauty and the Beast already in the works with Emma Watson starring, the studio is currently mulling Mulan as its next live-action retelling.
Disney has picked up a script by writing duo Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a female warrior and the focus of Disney’s 1998 animated hit. The pair don’t have any feature credits yet, but they wrote for the Know Theatre of Cincinnati and rewrote an Amazon Studios script.
Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We’re the Millers) are taking producing roles in the project, which is on the fast track as Disney works to capitalize on Cinderella‘s success. Since opening three weeks ago, the Lily James-starring pic has earned $336.2 million worldwide.
With box office revenues in China surpassing U.S. numbers for the first time this past year, it’s not hard to see why Disney is interested in again tackling Mulan. It only helps that the original was a smash hit, earning $304.3 million worldwide as well as Golden Glove and Academy Award nominations.
Disney has found tremendous success in rebooting its classic female characters of late. Alice in Wonderland set records in 2010 and grossed over a billion, while Maleficent made off with $758.4 million despite mixed reviews last summer. Don’t expect the studio to step on the brakes anytime soon, either – in addition to Beauty and the Beast, Disney has a live-action version of The Jungle Book and Dumbo, as well as the Alice in Wonderland sequel, on the horizon.
As long as Disney’s new Mulan can avoid obvious pitfalls (see: whitewashing), it sounds like another exciting opportunity for the studio to reintroduce an admirable character to a new generation. You’ll have more on the project as we get it.