By Ed Diokno
The Disney Studio is launching a worldwide casting search for a Chinese actress to play the legendary female heroine Mulan.
The news that the studio is turning its 1998 animated hit into a live-action title comes after such successes as Maleficent, The Jungle Book and Cinderella, among other titles. And Disney is currently gearing up for the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast, which opens March 17 and is expected to be one of the top-grossing titles of 2017.
Like the 1998 animated film, Mulan is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the daughter of an aged warrior who disguises herself as a man in order to take her father’s place in the army and go to war. Aided by her trusted dragon, Mushu, she becomes a skilled warrior and one of the country’s greatest heroines.
The studio also announced that Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver who teamed for Jurassic World, were brought in to rewrite a spec script for Mulan that Disney bought in 2015.
The Disney team sees the 1998 animated film as a jumping-off point for a more nuanced and elaborate adaptation, combining the legendary Chinese ballad and the animated motion picture.
A director for Mulan hasn’t been selected yet.Whoever gets the plum role will have to be athletic or a dancer to convincingly perform the fight scenes in the upcoming movie. The movie could be a launching pad for a big career as one of the most recognizable Asian American actresses in Hollywood.