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Oct 07, 2016 01:06 AM EDT

Disney Sets Live-Action 'Mulan' for 2018, Promises to Actually Cast a Chinese Actress

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Disney's 1998 hit animated feature "Mulan" will have a 3D live-action retelling and they will launch a global search for a Chinese actress to play the part of a 16-year-old who dressed up as a man to fight a war in his father's place.

The 1998 animated musical feature, "Mulan" was voiced by Ming-Na Wen (speaking) and Tony award-winning actress Lea Salonga (singing). The movie grossed $304 million worldwide

It has been a lucky streak for Disney in adapting some of its classic animated films to live-action. "Alice in Wonderland" [ $1.02 billion] in 2010, "Maleficent" ($758.5 million) in 2014, "Cinderella" ($543.5 million) in 2015, and "The Jungle Book" ($965.8 million) in 2016.

This early, "Beauty and the Beast," due to be released March 17, 2017, is expected to be a major draw with Emma Watson playing Belle. The original animated feature grossed $420 million on a $20 million budget. The first trailer once it was released online set a massive new record of 98.8 million views in its first 24 hours last May,  Comic Book reported. It beat the previous record of 88 million held by "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens."

Will the trend continue for "Mulan's" live-action feature? First things first, Disney has to find that special Chinese girl who is 'meant to play this part' as Hua Mulan (Fa Mulan in the animated film), savior of all of China.

We certainly hope Disney sticks to their word and not whitewash the part as what they did with Tilda Swinton playing The Ancient One in "Doctor Strange." Scheduled release for "Doctor Strange" is on November 4, 2016.

In related news, The Walt Disney Studios officially confirmed in a press release that it is adapting "The Lion King" to live-action with director Jon Favreau at the helm. They say the project is on the fast track to production. Like "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King" will include songs from the original animated film. The schedule for release has not been confirmed as of yet.

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