WASHINGTON: There won’t be songs or talking dragons, and the film’s antagonist will be a Chinese sorceress, not an evil leader of the Hun army – but Mulan is making her return to the big screen.
This week Disney released a teaser trailer for the live-action remake of its 1998 classic, a story based on a legendary female warrior who disguises herself as a man to fight in place of her ailing father in China’s imperial army.
It joins a string of Disney hits from the 90s being revived for the 21st Century, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.
The animated Mulan flopped in its birthplace when it was released more than two decades ago, but this time Disney is pulling out all stops to win China over with its version of their heroine.
When the Disney original first aired, China was not a major market for Disney. Twenty years on, China is the second-biggest movie market in the world.
Around 70% of Hollywood studios’ revenue are now generated overseas, compared with around 30% two decades ago. And Chinese audiences today are able to add millions to box office takings.