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Niki Caro To Direct Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan'
16 February 2017, 12:50 | Judith Quinn
Niki Caro, who directed Whale Rider, is officially on board to direct Disney's live-action Mulan remake.
In addition, Disney has also brought in Hong Kong mega-producer Bill Kong to serve as executive producer for the film. Her next film, The Zookeeper's Wife starring Jessica Chastain, will be released in the USA on 31 March and will reach the United Kingdom on 5 May.
With this hire, Caro joins Ava DuVernay as one of two women who will be directing a live-action Disney blockbuster, with DuVernay directing next year's adaptation of "A Wrinkle In Time".
The sitealso indicates that Disney had other women for its lady warrior project, including Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones).
Caro's involvement means that she is unlikely to direct Captain Marvel, for which she was thought to be on the shortlist. That said, they at least have the advantage over the rival Mulan project now being pursued by Sony, who failed to offer any form of diverse hiring by handing the project to TV director Alex Graves.
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Director Niki Caro has been chosen to direct Disney's next live-action fairy-tale.
According to ComingSoon, "Mulan" now marks what is only the second film that a female director has taken on a project budgeted higher than $100 million at The Walt Disney Studios.
Disney will inevitably have to face questions as to why it doesn't appear any female Asian filmmakers were in serious contention for the job, specifically the likes of Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Karyn Kusama, or Jennifer Phang. The new "Mulan" features a script originally penned by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, and rewritten by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
All that being said, Disney has gone on the record to say that they're still moving forward with the full intent that they'll cast Chinese actors and actresses, and that the movie will still center on Mulan and her journey. Sony, which is developing a rival live-action film about the Chinese legend, also hoped to put an Asian director at the helm, but ultimately hired television veteran Alex Graves.
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