Ang Lee Shakes His Head, Remembers Who He Is, And Turns Down Disney’s Live Action Mulan Remake

Well, you can’t get them all.

Remember a few days ago when I discussed Disney’s Aladdin remake, revealed to be directed by none other than Guy Ritchie? If you don’t then you totally missed the joke in today’s headline, which is kind of a bummer. But if you did, then you’ll recall my assumption about Disney’s current plan for their live-action remakes: bring on the biggest, most unique directors around, and hope that their vision will be enough to make the remakes worthwhile. That’s at least what they did for Guy Ritchie and Aladdin, and it looks like they tried a similar tactic with their other forthcoming remake, Mulan.

The man in question there, however, didn’t seem to bite. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney tried, and seemingly failed, to get acclaimed director Ang Lee of The Life of Pi, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Hulk (although I won’t hold that last one against him) to helm their live-action adaptation of the famed Chinese folktale. THR didn’t give any specifics on why Lee would turn down the gig, but I can only assume it was because “LOL I’m Ang Lee why would I do that?!?”

So now it’s back to the drawing board for Disney, who more likely than not want a Chinese director to handle this Chinese epic (the nerve of them!) But I can only assume the drawing board was “Ang Lee, the guy who directed Hard Target, and wait, does Jackie Chan direct movies anymore?”, so finding a replacement might proof difficult.

For what it’s worth, Sony is also developing a Mulan movie (because why the fuck not?), and Lee’s forthcoming Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is being distributed by them. Could Lee end up directing a Mulan movie after all? He’s the most in demand Chinese director around right now, so the answer is probably yes, sadly. As for Disney’s take on the story, we’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe Stephen Chow isn’t busy?