For a certain kind of Disney fan, Fa Mulan (a.k.a. Hua Mulan) will forever hold a special place in our hearts. She was unapologetically badass, and after years of princesses being locked away (thanks to Hans Christian Andersen and Victor Hugo) in frilly gowns and magical spells, Mulan held her own with a sword and armor. She was not a damsel in distress.
It’s still too early to get an idea of how Caro will translate the film to the big screen. “I haven’t started yet so I can’t give you any real detail,” she said in an interview with ScreenCrush. However, the Whale Rider director made it clear that Mulan’s physical strengths and talents will be central to the storyline.
“...The budget and the location and the story is offering such scope to me for [an] incredible, muscular piece of girly martial arts extravaganza in China. And I can’t wait.”
Neither can we.
The director also revealed in the interview that she and her daughter are already in prep mode. “I’ve got my little girl, she’s nine. We’re going to start learning mixed martial arts in preparation.” The Mulan remake will be executive produced by Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon).
Whether you like it or not, Disney’s live-action remakes are here to stay. What began with Cinderella (2015) and The Jungle Book (2016), has led us to, more currently, Beauty & The Beast (2017). There’s a lot riding on all of these remakes. However, with Mulan — a story Disney was already criticized for westernizing in 1998 — fans have already made it clear that they won’t stand for a whitewashed cast or love interest for that matter.
Though it seems Caro and the rest of the team have taken note, casting for the film is happening in China.