One of many upcoming live-action Disney remakes has just found its director, as The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Niki Caro will helm 2018’s Mulan. In so doing, Caro will make history, becoming only the second woman in the studio’s history (and third in all) to direct a film with a budget over $100 million.
Reportedly, Disney saw it as important to hire a female for the job and looked at such other candidates as Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad). Caro’s hiring likely means that she’s out of the running for another major studio tentpole, Captain Marvel, which will be the first female-led superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Caro’s name was previously on a shortlist alongside Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland) and Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World).
Since delivering a critical and moderate commercial hit for Disney with McFarland, USA, Caro helmed the premiere for Netflix’s upcoming series Annie and The Zookeeper’s Wife, a Jessica Chastain-led World War II drama.
Her other directorial efforts include Whale Rider and North Country.
The report also notes that Bill Kong, a Hong Kong film producer whose works includes Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, has been brought on board as an executive producer, to ensure that the film is culturally accurate to Han Dynasty-era China. In general, Disney will be working extensively alongside Chinese consultants and searching for much of the film’s cast in mainland China.
The original Mulan, which opened to massive critical and financial success about two decades ago, is an action musical that follows a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to serve in the Chinese army in her father’s place and defeat the Huns.
Disney’s Mulan is currently slated for release in November 2018.