For the past few years, Disney has made a good business out of remaking their animated classics for live-action. Most recently, Beauty and the Beast has been absolutely killing it at the box office, and is currently approaching $900 million in worldwide box office receipts. Disney didn’t really need a whole lot more encouragement to keep on churning these bad boys out, but if they weren’t a hundred and ten percent into this whole business yet, they certainly are now. On the long list of upcoming adaptations is one film that is particularly suited to the live-action treatment: Mulan.
Unlike all the other films on Disney’s docket, Mulan is something of a war film, and as such, is perhaps a bit more inclined to a more grounded, hard-edged treatment. In recent weeks, it’s been unclear whether or not they’d go full Beauty and the Beast in the movie by holding over the musical aspect from the animated classic. At first, it sounded as though they’d ax the music altogether, but a more recent comment from the director implied that they were still figuring things out.
Now, in a more recent comment from THR, Caro states that for now, there will be music.
“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.”
This is great news for those who love these animated films and are hoping to see some more transliterated aspects to the big screen, but perhaps a kick in the shin to those hoping for something a bit more on the mature side. However, as Disney has proven in the past, the films do not need to hide their connections to their animated counterparts. In fact, celebrating them outright seems to be doing them plenty well.
Of course, another aspect that many fans have been wondering about is the casting. For a while now, Disney has been stating that they were searching for a non-white cast, and that they won’t be injecting a white lead into the mix in hopes of increasing their box office numbers. For those who were unconvinced, Caro stated her dedication to representing cultural authenticity in her work.
“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.”
What do you think of Caro’s statements? Are you hoping to see a live-action rendition of “Be a Man?” Let us know your thoughts down below!
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