New details emerge on Disney's live-action remakes of Aladdin and Mulan
Whether you like them or not, Disney seems intent on giving just about every one of their animated movies the live-action treatment, the latest of which, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, hit theaters today. Make sure to check our own Eric Walkuski's review of the film. We've got many more live-action remakes on the way, including ALADDIN and MULAN, and the president of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios, Sean Bailey, recently spoke with Vulture about Disney's approach to live-action where he dropped a few tidbits about the studio's upcoming productions.
ALADDIN, which is set to be helmed by Guy Ritchie (SHERLOCK HOLMES), is about to begin open-casting and Bailey seems very excited by the thought of Ritchie's "highly energized" take on a Disney musical.
Guy became interested in doing a Disney movie and we talked a lot about it. When we talked about Aladdin, he said, ‘My stories are really about street hustlers. That’s what I know how to do. And Aladdin is a classic street hustler who makes good.’ Guy’s got his own version of that story in his life. But he wanted to honor and respect the Disney of it all. We never want to feel like we have a playbook to these things because we worry it’ll make us creatively complacent. The idea of a highly energized Guy Ritchie Disney musical felt like, Oh, we haven’t done that before.
Unlike BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and ALADDIN, it seems that MULAN isn't being planned as a musical adaptation at this point, although that could still change. Directed by WHALE RIDER director Niki Caro, Bailey says that MULAN will be a "fresh take on female empowerment" which will be a little tougher than its animated predecessor.
Mulan is clearly an empowered-female story but we can also do something new in this reimagining, make it a little more muscular, stronger, with touch of Ridley Scott.
Another aspect which makes MULAN appealing to Disney is China itself, or rather, the opportunity to get a bigger piece of that bountiful Chinese box-office. I can almost hear the sound of dozens of executives rubbing their hands together with glee. ALADDIN doesn't have an official release date just yet, but MULAN will hit theaters on November 2, 2018.