Sony’s Mulan has officially hired Game of Thrones‘ director Alex Graves to helm the live-action movie based on the Chinese legend about Hua Mulan, competing with Disney’s own live-action take on the flick.
Alex Graves, one of the directors of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning series the Game of Thrones, has landed a project with Sony Pictures where he will be faced with the task of bringing to life the Chinese legend about a heroine who greatly influenced today’s young adults.
According to Deadline, Graves will be doing the Sony version based on a script penned by the Escape Plan scriptwriter Jason Keller with Doug Belgrad in the producer’s seat.
Disney vs. Sony: Who Portrays Mulan Better?
Competition in the movie scene is becoming more intense as Sony Pictures set a live-action adaptation of the same story that we have grown up with, thanks to Disney’s animated film about a young woman who pretends to be a man to take her sick father’s place in the Chinese Imperial Army.
However, Deadline clarified that while there are two live-action versions of the same story, Sony’s is a Chinese co-production that was created for the international scene with a Chinese actress taking the lead.
“There are two live-action versions of Mulan, but this one is being designed for the international marketplace so it pace won’t necessarily be determined by progress on the Disney film — this pic is a Chinese co-production, there will be a Chinese lead, and the film will be done through Sony Pictures International Productions.”
This means that the Sony version of Mulan may not be as youth-oriented as Disney’s as it targets a wider range of market internationally.
Meanwhile, Disney’s plan to recreate Mulan in live-action form has been plagued with criticism of whitewashing the Chinese legend after the entertainment company’s purchased script was leaked online.
The script, which was posted in the blog Angry Asian Man, reportedly incorporated a European trader into the mix and taking all of Mulan’s thunder, so to speak.
“The man is a 30-something European trader who initially cares only for the pleasure of women and money. The only reason why he and his entourage decide to help the Chinese Imperial Army is because he sets eyes on Mulan,” wrote the blogger who was only identified under the pen name ConcernedForMulan.
According to the blog, the script penned by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin focuses on how the “white savior” develops an interest with our Chinese heroine and ensures her success in each of her battles.
Aside from that, this character reportedly “gets the honor of defeating the primary enemy of China, not Mulan.”
“I am deeply disturbed that a remake of the beloved Disney classic rejects the cultural consciousness of its predecessor by featuring a white male lead, once again perpetuating the myth that cultural stories are not worth telling without a western lens or star.”
The author of the blog went on to criticize how the story had “clear pedophilic implications” considering that Mulan was a teenager matched with a 30-year-old man and the missed opportunity that could have been a turning point for Disney to tap “into the Asian-American actor populace.”
But Disney was quick at clarifying that this script was only acquired to serve as a “jumping-off point,” per a statement cited by Collider.
“The spec script was a jumping-off point for a new take on the story that draws from both the literary ballad of Mulan and Disney’s 1998 animated film. Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all of the primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.”
Disney’s live-action Mulan is slated for theatrical release on November 2, 2018, while Sony’s version has yet to get a schedule for release.
[Featured Image by Disney]