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Live-action version of Disney's 'Mulan' to hit theaters in 2018

Live-action version of Disney's 'Mulan' to hit theaters in 2018
Disney is making a live-action version of its popular animated film "Mulan." (Walt Disney Studios)

Walt Disney Studios is returning to its storied vault yet again to adapt one of its popular animated titles into a live-action movie.

On Tuesday, the studio announced that it would release a new version of "Mulan," a musical about a young woman who disguises herself as a man so she can enlist in the army. The original film, which was released in 1998, grossed $304 million worldwide.

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Disney has begun to transform a number of its beloved cartoons into live-action films over the past few years. Both the princess tales "Maleficent" and "Cinderella" clicked with audiences, and a remake of musical "The Jungle Book" was a massive hit, collecting nearly a billion dollars worldwide earlier this year.

Jon Favreau, who directed the latter film, already has been tapped to adapt a new version of another animated musical: “The Lion King.” And in March, the studio will release a fresh take on “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Anticipation is already high for the film, which will feature songs from the animated original; a trailer for the movie was viewed 91.8 million times during its first 24 hours online when it debuted in May.

The new "Mulan" will hit theaters Nov. 2, 2018, and is being rewritten by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, the screenwriting duo who have worked on films like "Jurassic World" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." The movie does not yet have a director.

The studio said it soon would embark on a global casting search for the Chinese actress who will play Mulan, who was 16 years old in the animated film. Disney recently completed a similar search for the star of its November animated release "Moana," ultimately casting Hawaiian newcomer Auli'i Cravalho in the role.

An emotional video of Cravalho learning she'd gotten the part went viral last November, so prepare for a similar outcome when Mulan 2.0 is discovered.

Follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA

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