'Mulan' Remake Will Be Available on Disney+ for No Extra Cost in December

Disney+ viewers annoyed with having to pay an extra $30 to see Mulan will be happy to know that the live-action remake will be available for free — if they're willing to wait three months. The streaming platform announced that the $29.99 early access fee — on top of the $6.99 monthly subscription fee — will be available starting Friday, Sept. 4, until Monday, Nov. 2. Then, as of Friday, Dec. 4, Mulan will be available to all Disney+ subscribers for no additional cost, according to an updated page on the service's site and as reported by The Verge.

For those willing to shell out an extra $30 to unlock early access, "Your access to Mulan will continue as long as you are an active Disney Plus subscriber," the website says. Further implying that the film will be available during the month-long gap between the end of early access in November and the start of general public viewing in December. Last month, Disney announced it would release Mulan first as an early-access option on Disney+, bypassing theatrical distribution after several delays in its release schedule due to the COVID-19 crisis.

But you don't have to be a Disney+ subscriber to watch Mulan. The movie can be purchased directly from Disney at disneyplus.com, as well as via third-party platforms, including Apple, Google and Roku. Amazon is not currently a distribution partner for the film.

International pricing will be a bit lower than in the U.S. For example, on the U.K. platform, it will be available to subscribers for £19.99, which is roughly $26. But in France, Mulan will be offered to subscribers at no extra cost — but not until Dec. 4, because theater owners in that country opposed the company's PVOD plan.

Mulan's exclusive streaming release, as opposed to a theatrical release, is not a surprise given the state of the film industry during the pandemic in the U.S. Disney CEO Bob Chapek told analysts during an earnings call that executives "thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring [Mulan] out in a timely manner." Countries where Disney+ exists, therefore, will get Mulan exclusively as Disney+. Other countries, including China — where the film was expected to perform best — will have Mulan available as a theatrical release.

Disney hopes to bring in — and keep — new subscribers with the film's release. Customers who purchase Mulan will have access to it forever, as long as they're subscribed to Disney+. By asking people to spend $30 on a film, and then ensuring they can only keep it while subscribed to the streaming platform, the company is attempting to reduce the number of people who cancel their subscriptions.

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Directed by Niki Caro, the film is a live-action reimagining of the 1998 animated feature, which is streaming on Disney+ along with 2005's Mulan II. Like the original, the new Mulan follows a young warrior in China who disguises herself as a man to spare her elderly father from having to serve in the military. It stars Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Tzi Ma as Zhou; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Honghui; and Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang.

Mulan will be available with Premier Access on Disney+ starting on Friday, Sept. 4. Premier Access will be available until Monday, Nov. 2, and beginning on Friday, Dec. 4, will be available to stream with the basic Disney+ subscription package.