Nov 29, 2016 05:00 AM EST

Disney’s New ‘Mulan’ Live-Action Movie News & Update: Search For Asian Director Begins; Ang Lee Rejects Offer

By Marie O.

The live-action adaptation of Disney classic "Mulan" is officially in the works. Following a global casting call for a Chinese actress to play the lead role, Walt Disney Pictures is now on the hunt for an Asian director.

The studio initially eyed renowned director Ang Lee to direct the film, with his impressive credentials at the helm of Oscar winners "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Brokeback Mountain," and "Life of Pi." However, he had to turn down the project because he was still contractually obligated to promote the war film "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk."

This did not hinder Lee from giving his two cents on whom he thinks can be the next best choice to direct the movie. Hollywood Reporter quoted Lee as saying, "It would be great to see an Asian do it, of course!"

This is not the first time that the 1998 animated hit was the subject of talks for a live-action retelling. In October 2010, Chinese superstar Zhang Ziyi was all set to play the titular character of the legendary heroine. Filming did not commence and the whole project was eventually scrapped.

This time, though, Walt Disney Pictures is giving the feisty heroine's story another try, as per separate article from Hollywood Reporter. This should be no surprise as "Mulan" was one of Disney's most successful animated films - commercially and critically. When it hit the big screen in 1998, "Mulan" made a killing in the box office, grossing over $304 million in worldwide showings. It earned nods among elite award-giving circles, gaining Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations and winning several Annie Awards, including "Best Animated Feature."

Disney plans to release "Mulan" in theaters worldwide on Nov. 2, 2018. While the live-action remake of "Mulan" is still in its planning stages, Walt Disney Pictures is right at the thick of things with their newest offering "Beauty and the Beast," which will hit theaters on Mar. 17, 2017. The studio has released a number of stills to drum up excitement, the latest of which is a photo of Luke Evans's Gaston trying to romance Emma Watson's Belle, as reported by Jobs & Hire.

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