The film was announced to be in development on March 30, 2015, to be produced by Chris Bender and J.C. Spike, with a script having been bought from writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hayneck. On October 4, 2016, the film was confirmed by Disney with a release date set for November 2, 2018. On February 14, 2017, Disney chose Niki Caro to direct the film and Bill Kong as executive producer, due to familiarity of the Chinese culture for the film.
On April 19, 2017, it was reported that Ming-Na Wen, the voice of Mulan in the original film, was in talks to possibly have a cameo in the film. In July 2017, the film's release date was taken off the 2018 calendar with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms taking its place. On November 29, 2017, Liu Yifei was cast as Mulan.