Dual ‘Mulan’ Movies Both Looking for Asian Directors
With the success of 2015’s live-action Cinderella, Disney knew it had hit a gold mine. Plans for a live-action take on another favorite, Mulan, started being developed that same year, along with plans to adapt The Jungle Book, whose almost-completely-CGI take hit theaters earlier this summer and had a mighty good run at the box office. In a wild set of coincidences, Sony has also been working on live-action versions of The Jungle Book and Mulan, although their Jungle Book, directed by Andy Serkis, has been delayed to 2018. Both studios, however, are looking for Asian directors for their respective projects.
Disney’s Mulan movie seemed to hit a bit of a snag earlier this week when it was reported that the film would cast a white actor in a pretty major role, but those rumors were quickly dealt with when the studio assured everyone that the cast for the movie would be primarily Chinese. Now, with the exit of Ang Lee, Disney is looking for an Asian director to helm the project. The Hollywood Reporter learned that Lee had stepped down from the film and that Disney is casting around worldwide for a replacement. Both Disney and Sony, seemingly independent of each other, are trying to find Chinese directors for their films, along with Chinese actors to play the leads.
The films, like both Jungle Books, won’t be in competition with each other, as Disney is set to have its Mulan take out long before Sony’s. Disney’s Mulan has a November 2, 2018 date scheduled, while Sony’s, with a script by Jason Keller of Mirror Mirror, is still in very early development. This is a far cry from the rumors that Disney’s Mulan would have a white lead, and a very promising outlook for more Asian representation in Hollywood, which has been pretty dismal in the past. If Disney or Sony are worried about not appealing to as wide an audience by having a primarily Asian cast, they should stop sweating: everyone loves Mulan.