Disney has released a new teaser trailer for Mulan, its epic live-action (emphasis on action) reimagining of the legendary Chinese warrior story, which is set to debut on Disney+ next month as a premium rental. Directed by Niki Caro, Mulan follows the journey of the eponymous hero, played by Liu Yifei, as she disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in the Imperial Army. Last month, after repeated release delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney moved to debut Mulan on its Disney+ streaming platform, where it will be made available exclusively to subscribers on September 4 as a $29.99 rental.
The thing about this new teaser, though, is that while it serves to get people hyped about Mulan on Disney+, it kinda highlights why the movie should receive a proper theatrical release—eventually, of course.
According to Variety, Disney CEO Bob Chapek described the Mulan streaming release as a “one-off” during a corporate earnings call in August, but it certainly seems like the studio is testing the profitability of releasing a major blockbuster directly to Disney+. Given that it remains unclear exactly when and how movie theaters will re-open nationwide (it could be several more months, at least), the studio may need to reassess its release strategies for other upcoming films, including Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, and Pixar’s Soul.