Beauty and the Beast may be dominating the box office, but this is just the beginning — just in case you were wondering what you were gonna do with your extra cash over the next few years, #Disney have got you covered, with many more live action remakes rolling out to infinity and beyond.
Next up is Mulan, which is possibly the most exciting of all Disney's upcoming movies, with all its potential to be a war movie epic. First released in 1998, the animated Mulan quickly became a classic, thanks to its empowering story and show-stopping tunes like "Reflection" and "I'll Make A Man Out Of You". Mulan's soundtrack is arguably one of Disney's best ever, so the latest news for the live action remake may come as a shock — as the 2018 movie will not be a musical.
Eschewing the method used for Beauty and the Beast, Mulan will be more in line with Cinderella and Maleficent, in that only the story, and not the musical component, will make it to the big screen. So revealed director Niki Caro when interviewed by Moviefone:
"Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children."
Many Mulan fans will share that horror, as these songs are oh-so-singalongable. Watch this video of "I'll Make A Man Out Of You" and try not to belt it out, I dare you!
But as sad as this news is, it's not exactly surprising — and the live action Mulan lacking big musical numbers is probably the best thing for the film.
"For A Long Time We've Been Marching Off To Battle..."
Each one of Disney's live action remakes carries with it a potential to bring something to an old and beloved tale. When it comes to Mulan, the prospect of live action is especially exciting as we can finally see those huge, dramatic battles depicted in all their glory — the mere idea of seeing the Hun army crushed by an avalanche in the excruciating detail of IMAX 3D gives me goosebumps, and that's just one of the sequences we can look forward to.
From what Niki Caro and Sean Bailey (Disney Motion Picture president) have said, turning Mulan into a war movie epic is exactly what they're intending to do — and cheesy musical numbers (as much as we love them) would feel rather out of place in this type of movie.
Speaking to Vulture, Bailey explained the cinematic approach Disney is taking to 2018's #Mulan.
"Mulan is clearly an empowered-female story but we can also do something new in this reimagining, make it a little more muscular, stronger, with touch of Ridley Scott."
This is music to many a fan's ears, and Caro followed this up with her own comments on what she's intending to do with the film.
"Well I'm not going to contradict Sean. His sensibility and mine for the material is right in sync. It's a big, girly martial arts epic. It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving."
One of the major criticisms of the Disney live action remakes has been that they add little to the source material, and seem to be a bid to sell more tickets to the same movie. Beauty and the Beast attempted to overcome this by introducing new scenes and embellishing the plot, but much of it seemed identical to the original.
By the very nature of the story, the 2018 Mulan will be a reinvention of the animated movie, introducing a new generation to the much-loved story while amping up the stakes in thrilling live action sequences. While we're not expecting Mulan to be a full blown, dark war movie — it is, after all, still aimed at children — it seems that Disney are taking a more serious approach to the tale this time around, possibly to line up better with the original Chinese ballad of Hua Mulan.
With that in mind, it certainly would be rather jarring to suddenly be plunged into a musical sequence, although admittedly, the stark contrast between a cheery song and the harsh reality of war was fantastically used in the 1998 original — that transition from "A Girl Worth Fighting For" to the discovery of a brutally slaughtered village is still an emotional gut punch, no matter how many times you watch it.
Yet, this probably wouldn't work quite as well in the live action version, so it's good to know that Disney are taking an original tack with the 2018 Mulan — as disappointing as it is to learn that we won't be able to belt out "Let's get down to business!!" when we settle down to watch the new movie.