Disney's live-action Mulan won't be a musical

'From what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children'

Clarisse Loughrey
Sunday 19 March 2017 12:53 GMT

It's looking certain Disney's live-action take on Mulan won't be a musical, its director has revealed.

Niki Caro (Whale Rider) will take on the story of China's legendary warrior woman for the studio, for a film she promised to ScreenCrush will be a "muscular piece of girly martial arts extravaganza"; with her even launching into learning mixed martial arts with her nine-year-old daughter in preparation.

However, the focus on action looks to mean Mulan drops one of the most beloved aspects of the 1998 animated film, its musical numbers: with Caro telling Moviefone, "From what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children."

Mulan without 'I'll Make a Man Out of You'? That may sound horrifying to some fans, but there's some potentially good logic behind the decision.

Though Disney's latest live-action remake, Beauty and the Beast, was largely well received by critics, one of its greatest perceived flaws is exactly how closely it followed the original material; a path largely determined by the need to include all of the animation's classic songs.

Without the narrative tentpoles demanded by hitting each of Mulan's musical numbers, the new film has the freedom to explore completely fresh material; which seems especially wise with how rich a source material Disney has at their hands with the original Hua Mulan legend.

With the script now being rewritten by Jurassic World's Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, the studio is apparently focusing its casting search in mainland China.

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