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One of the ways Disney has made a name for itself for taking fairy tales/myths and adapting them into movies that the whole family can enjoy. This was originally done in animation, but lately they've been steadily releasing live action takes on these tales. However, that doesn't mean other studios are barred from doing the same thing. Warner Bros is making a darker version of The Jungle Book, Chloe Grace Moretz is starring in Universal's adaptation of The Little Mermaid, and now it's been revealed that Sony is working on their own Mulan movie.
Earlier today, Variety reported that ex-Sony executive Doug Belgrad will co-finance half a dozen movies for the studio. Some of the notable projects include Peter Rabbit, Bad Boys 3 and the Charlie's Angels reboot, but a Mulan "reboot" was a surprising reveal. While no plot details were revealed about how Sony's Mulan will differ from Disney's version, there are plans for it to shoot in China, be made with a "Chinese partner" and feature a mostly Chinese cast. That's a no-brainer, considering the setting and subject matter. That said, hear me closely, Hollywood: DO NOT choose a white lead for this story. That has 'bad decision' written all over it.
Disney may have made the Hua Mulan story famous in the modern era, but the legend has existed for over a millennium. Most of you already know the general premise, but just to cover our bases, the story is about a young woman who takes her father's place in the army and was among the most skilled warriors China ever saw. The 1998 Disney animated adaptation kept the basic structure of this intact, but in typical House of Mouse fashion, made a lot of changes, from including a wisecracking dragon and amusing cricket to having Mulan face Shan Yu, leader of the Huns. While Disney's upcoming live action remake will likely keep many of those particular elements intact, Sony's Mulan will be an entirely different beast.
Assuming this Mulan "reboot" (it's really just another adaptation) is rated PG-13, it will presumably be more action-packed, having more of a blockbuster feel and definitely not targeted at children. The studio can easily study the legend and make the movie more faithful, not to mention gritty with its added violence. The Disney Mulan will always be a classic, but if Sony makes the right move, they might be able to put their own unique spin on this Mulan movie. If it helps, think of 2005's The New World, which gave a more mature and realistic live action version of the Pocahontas story compared to the fantasy-infused animated movie Disney released in 1995.
We'll keep you updated on how Sony's Mulan movie is progressing as more relevant news comes in.