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How Coronavirus Could Impact the Premiere of Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’ in China

With the coronavirus death count rising in China, some Disney fans are wondering what that means for Disney’s latest live-action adaptation of Mulan and its debut overseas. Is Mulan still premiering in China this March? According to a Disney spokesperson, the company is “monitoring the situation closely.”

Director Niki Caro of 'Mulan' and President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey

Director Niki Caro of 'Mulan' and President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey

Director Niki Caro of ‘Mulan’ and President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Disney premieres its live-action version of ‘Mulan’ during March 2020

There’s a new Disney live-action adaptation heading to theaters this year. Recently, the company announced its reboot of the 1998 animated film, Mulan. This version stars Liu Yifei as the title character, a woman who masquerades as a man to save her father and protect her family.

Because this movie stars a fierce Chinese warrior, some analysts originally speculated the success of Disney’s live-action Mulan overseas. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, the company may have to postpone this film’s premiere date in China.

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There are some fears regarding Coronavirus and ‘Mulan’s’ premiere in China

Mulan may not debut in China at its anticipated premiere date, (which, according to IMDB, was March 27, 2020.) This is due, in part, to coronavirus, and its impact on China. According to CNN, a Disney spokesperson said that the studio is monitoring the situation closely.

“All of the movie companies that are expecting to distribute movies coming up in China obviously are impacted by this,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said during an interview with CNBC. “The bigger issue on everybody’s mind, the bigger concern, is what’s going on with this virus and how far will it go in terms of its impact on people.”

This is not the first time Disney has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The company’s Hong Kong theme park took a recent monetary hit from the disease and the recent protests. There’s no word regarding when Mulan will make its debut in China, but Disney will presumably release a statement as the North American premiere date draws near.

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Why does China matter so much for the premiere of Disney’s ‘Mulan’?

Hua Mulan will become the focus of Disney’s live-action adaptation, the first of their reboots to earn a PG-13 rating. Not only is Mulan in inspiring and empowering character for women, but Fa Mulan was also Disney’s first Asian princess.

The reboot of Mulan features a predominately Chinese cast. Additionally, this adaptation reportedly follows the Chinese fable, “The Ballad of Mulan,” more closely than Disney’s original animated movie. Being that China is one of Disney’s largest markets overseas, this movie was expected to make a big splash at its debut this spring.

Mulan is a perfect example of where Disney’s infrastructure in China begins to pay off,” Aynne Kokas, a professor at the University of Virginia and author of Hollywood Made In China, said during an interview with CNN Business. “It has the advantage of not being a story that just has a few Chinese characters added in, which Chinese audiences find insulting. It’s also a family film, which is a genre that has garnered success in the country.”

Disney’s Mulan premieres in the United States on March 27, 2020. Until then, fans can watch the original animated film on Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+. 

Written by: Cheat

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