Niki Caro To Officially Direct Upcoming Live-Action 'Mulan'

Darnell ReidFeb 16, 2017

Disney has assured fans that the film, which is based on Mulan, a peasant girl who heads to the army in disguise as a man to save her father's life, will be culturally authentic in the re-make. In addition, they've set Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to serve as executive producer.

Caro, a New Zealand native, will next be in theaters with The Zookeeper's Wife, a World War II drama starring Jessica Chastain.

Since both films were announced a year ago, there have been renewed calls for both studios to cast Asians or Asian Americans.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was considered for the director's chair, as well as Michelle MacLaren, who worked on Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.

It is also noted in the original article that Niki Caro was a talent being looked at to take on Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel but that her schedule on Mulan will nearly certainly preclude that possibility. Caro's hiring likely takes her out of the running for Captain Marvel. In August, it was reported that Caro was on the short list of directors, along with Lesli Linka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria.

Mulan is just one of a slew of live-action adaptations of the studio's most popular animated films, which include Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast, which comes out in March.The Mulan remake, a blend of the original legend and the 1998 animated movie, is scheduled for release in November 2018.


Caro will become the second woman at Disney to direct a movie budgeted at over $100 million.

Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin have already provided the initial screenplay for "Mulan", which has since been rewritten by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

So, first of all, good on Disney for bringing in a female director on Mulan. But Disney allegedly is set to start looking for a Chinese actress to portray Mulan quickly.

The new "Mulan" previously sparked controversy when reports emerged saying that script's early draft featured a Caucasian love interest, and Disney was accused of whitewashing.

Disney really is ploughing through its back catalogue for things it can turn into a live-action film.

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