Yep, There’s Going to Be Music in the Live-Action ‘Mulan’
Director Niki Caro was mysterious as the dark side of the moon about whether or not Disney’s new live-action Mulan movie was going to feature some of the classic songs from the original cartoon. At first, it seemed like there were no musical numbers planned for the movie, but, after some reflection, Caro has revealed that yes, not to worry, the new movie will indeed have some of that beloved music.
When The Hollywood Reporter recently asked Caro about her previous comments in an interview about The Zookeeper’s Wife, and if she felt any pressure from fans, she responded:
No, not at all. I mean, I haven’t even started on the movie yet. I haven’t seen a single casting yet, and these are conversations that are all ongoing. The live-action is based on that inspirational Chinese ballad and on the animated Disney classic. We’re still exploring the role that music’s going to play in it, but for sure there will be music.
For those of you who don’t already know, the story of Hua Mulan is an old Chinese legend from about 1500 years ago. Disney took a few liberties with their version — in the legend, Mulan is already a skilled fighter when she enlists, instead of running off in secret she’s supported by her family, and there’s no romance — but the general plot is pretty much the same.
THR also asked Caro if she and the rest of the Disney team are planning to work with Chinese culture experts on the movie.
Of course, of course. In all my work that is centered in cultures not my own, I hope that comes through, because that is incredibly important to me. When I made Whale Rider, I saw that to be specific and authentic is to be universal, and I’ve continued to work in an identical way ever since. As the projects get bigger, the more certain I am that cultural authenticity and specificity is the only way to approach my work.
They’re already looking for a Chinese actress to fit the part, and as outcry is imminent (and justified!) if the rest of the casting doesn’t follow suit, we should prepare ourselves for one of Disney’s most diversely cast films yet.