One of the most anticipated films of 2020 is the Disney live-action remake of their 1998 hit animated film “Mulan.” The story of based on an ancient Chinese legend. The fact that the movie takes place in China and stars an actress who was born in China makes the movie a very safe bet to be a huge hit in the second-biggest movie market on the planet. However, there is one very major problem. The Coronavirus outbreak has created a very chaotic situation in China. In fact, movie theaters around the country have been closed. The ability of people to move around the country has been restricted. As of right now, the Chinese government has has not told Disney when they will be able to release “Mulan” in China.
There is nothing that Disney can do right now but sit back and wait to hear from the Chinese government about a possible release date. Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the safety of people in China has to be the top priority right now. “Mulan” has had its fair share of problems over the past year. The star of the movie supported the Chinese government during the Hong Kong protests. Needless to say, people in China were not thrilled about that.
Another issue arose when it was revealed that this new live-action “Mulan” will not be a musical like the original animated version. All of the classic songs will be missing. Even worse, Mulan’s iconic dragon friend Mushu will not be appearing in the film. This decision was made because the director wanted the film to have no comedic elements and a greater sense of realism. People were not happy to hear about those changes to the film. Finally, there is the issue of the film’s enormous budget. It is rumored to have cost literally hundreds of millions of dollars to make. Needless to say, there is a lot at stake for Disney.
The amount of money that “Mulan” makes in China will ultimately determine whether it is a hit or a flop. China is the most crucial market for this film. The issue of the coronavirus makes the release of the film in China very uncertain at this time. When it does eventually get released, are people in China going to go to packed movie theaters with many other complete strangers? Will the people be afraid to go to public places? Only time will tell.