China reclaims Hua Mulan

Jingle Ma to direct film about warrior princess

Chinese who have long felt upstaged by Disney will get their own version of “Mulan” now that Hong Kong helmer Jingle Ma is taking it on as his next project.

Ma, whose update of the classic “Butterfly Lovers” story has taken in nearly $4 million in B.O. in China so far, confirmed that the project about legendary warrior princess Hua Mulan is due to begin lensing in February but was unable to give any more details for contractual reasons.

The 1998 Disney toon was a big hit internationally but only a qualified success in China, where people felt the movie would be best made by a Chinese helmer with Chinese stars.

The pic reportedly has a budget of HK$50 million ($6.45 million).

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