We all know the story of Mulan and her little dragon — not lizard — Mushu. We remember the lyrics to the "Let's get down to business" song since the first time we heard them, and whether we rewatch the animated classic out of nostalgia or because we've just had a great idea for a Disney-themed drinking game (don't ask), we can all agree that even though not technically a princess, Mulan is the most badass of all Disney princesses.
Disney is very well aware of the power of the story, the ideal coming-of-age tale that includes family themes, growing up, and finding one's true identity. So they've planned a live-action remake, since apparently now is the perfect time for reimagining all of our favorite childhood movies. From Mulan to Cruella, pretty much every Disney classic is getting its real life version.
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But did you know that's not the only live-action Mulan in the works? Just like The Little Mermaid is getting a new look at Universal, and Jon Favreau is still remaking The Jungle Book after this year's live-action release, it seems like it's just much more fun for studios to be planning two versions at the same time. So while Disney is working on their own Mulan, almost twenty years after the original, Sony is also making a live-action film.
How Will Sony's Version Differ From Disney's?
Thankfully for Sony, their project seems to be miles away from the family-friendly Disney vibes, so there shouldn't be any confusion here. The remake will be Chinese-produced and feature mainly Chinese actors — already a step ahead from Disney, who are still making waves with rumors of a white lead in their Mulan movie.
While the story will be closer to the 2009 Chinese blockbuster Mulan: Rise of a Warrior, a film that focused much more on the epic battles and the challenge of war than a pet dragon teasing its mistress, it will mostly be based on the original legend of Hua Mulan, the mythical female warrior.
The Legend Of Hua Mulan Is Central To Chinese Culture
Twenty years may already seem like a lifetime to us Disney fans, but the legend of Mulan stretches much farther back: The Ballad of Mulan was dated from the 6th century, although the original text was never found and only referenced in works from the 11th century.
The Ballad is a short poem telling the story of a young woman taking the place of her father in the war, and refusing all military decorations despite her achievements because she only aspires to return home. While different versions have attributed more or less happy endings to the story, her tale was always one of hope. The courage she represents and the fact that she beats all the odds against her have been repurposed, especially during Chinese conflicts — her legend encouraging armies to throw themselves into the battle. Whether she really existed or not has never been so important.
Game of Thrones Director Alex Graves Is The Ideal Choice For A War Movie
Considering that Sony's version will be darker and more violent, it seems ideal that Alex Graves just joined the project as director. Graves has directed six episodes of Game of Thrones in Seasons 3 and 4, which has probably given him experience with gruesome battles and characters fighting for their honor. I can't wait to see who they cast as Mulan!
Which live-action 'Mulan' would you rather watch?