Niki Caro Directing Disney’s Live-Action Mulan

Niki Caro

by James White |
Published on

Disney has finally found the director it wants to make the live-action Mulan, just the latest attempt by the Mouse House to convert its cartoon catalogue. Whale Rider's Niki Caro has taken the job.

The new take on the story of the legendary warrior woman who disguises herself as a man to take her aged father's place in the army has been in the works for a while now, and faces competition from a Sony project. Disney, acutely aware of cultural sensitivity about the film (especially when the original spec was criticised for adding in several white characters including a male lead who seemed to have more of the focus than Mulan herself) has been working with Chinese cultural consultants and hired Hong Kong-based producer Bill Kong.

Though it originally approached both Ang Lee and Rogue One's Jiang Wen (who, when he's not killing Imperial Stormtroopers is a busy, award-winning filmmaker), the studio then began looking for a female director, including a short list of Patty Jenkins, Michelle MacLaren and Leslie Linka Glatter, with Caro winning out and becoming only the second woman to direct a Disney film costing more than $100 million (after A Wrinkle In Time's Ava DuVernay).

Caro's next film to see screens will be true-life tale The Zookeeper's Wife, which will be out on 5 May this year.

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