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On the heels of the magical success of Disney’s live-action Cinderella, the studio is eyeing another live-action retelling: Mulan.
Disney bought a script by writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney’s 1998 animated film.
Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We’re the Millers) are producing the new project vie their banner Benderspink with Jake Weiner.
The 1998 film, directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, followed a young woman who disguises herself as a man so she can take her father’s place in the army and go to war. With the help of her trusty dragon sidekick Mushu, she becomes a skilled warrior and, eventually, one of the country’s greatest heroines. It earned $304.3 million worldwide, earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations and resulted in a 2005 direct-to-DVD sequel, Mulan II.
Disney has been on a roll with its live-action versions of its classic animated films. Cinderella, starring Lily James, has earned $336.2 million worldwide to date since hitting theaters three weeks ago. In 2010, the reimagined Alice in Wonderland grossed a staggering $1.02 billion and when Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic villainess, opened in May 2014, it went on to earn a stunning $758.4 million worldwide.
Disney is also making a live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Audra McDonald just joined the cast of the project, which will be directed by Bill Condon. It hits theaters on March 17, 2017. And in 2016 Disney will release a new version of The Jungle Book and the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Finally, a live-action version of Dumbo, which will be helmed by Tim Burton, is also in the works.
Writing team Martin and Hynek met in high school and, among other projects, have written for the Know Theatre of Cincinnati and rewrote a script for Amazon Studios. They’re repped by Amy Wagner at the Abrams Artists and Mike De Trana at Anvil Entertainment.
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