Success Of ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Might Affect Disney’s Remake Of ‘Mulan’
A few days ago, Niki Caro, the director of Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan, said in a Moviefone interview that the remake of the animation classic will most likely not be a musical. Fans that were immediately crushed by the news that songs like “Reflection” or “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” will be missing out from the live-action version, however, shouldn’t break out the tissues just yet, because there’s a movie currently out there that might affect Disney’s decisions about Mulan.
Which movie is that? It’s a movie that has, according to The Hollywood Reporter, smashed several box office records, including the biggest opening for a PG film, both domestic and overseas, and the seventh-biggest domestic opening in all-time box office history. It’s not a Star Wars film nor a Marvel superhero film. It’s Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as Belle and the Beast in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (2017). [Image by Walt Disney Motion Pictures]
Beauty and the Beast also happens to be Disney’s first live-action remake to hew closest to the musical format of its original animation film. Compared to Disney’s other live-action remakes that precedes it, including Alice in Wonderland and its sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, Cinderella, Maleficent, and The Jungle Book – most of which included little to no songs from the animation films from which they were adapted – Beauty and the Beast is certainly the most musical of the bunch. Not only does it include classics like “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast,” but it also boasts new songs that were made especially for the film.
So will the success of Beauty and the Beast sway Disney’s decision to at least incorporate a few of the most signature songs from the animation film into its live-action remake of Mulan? It seems highly possible.
In a piece published by Vulture regarding the operating logic behind Disney’s live-action remakes, sources close to production disclosed that while Mulan is currently not being envisioned as a movie that will include songs, decisions regarding the movie have not been set in stone. And if the development history of other Disney remakes is any indication, strong box office performances of musicals can pave the way for future musicals and make it easier for them to be green-lit. In the case of Beauty and the Beast, it was the widespread popularity of Frozen and the director Bill Condon’s determination to make the film a full-on musical that gave the studio heads enough confidence to proceed down this path, according to an interview Condon gave to The Hollywood Reporter.
A scene of Mulan training rigorously in the army that was played with the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” in Disney’s 1998 animation film “Mulan.