Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Mulan now has a new director and her name is Niki Caro.
You might not be too familiar with her, but she’s quickly rising the Hollywood hierarchy. Some of her big movie projects include Whale Rider (2002) and also the upcoming film The Zookeeper’s House.
Her new position in the helm of Mulan will make her the fifth female to direct a film with a budget allocated of over $100m (£80.2m). This is a huge project.
All money aside, the pressure is on for this new Mulan film. Fans everywhere are keeping a close eye on the project.
The initial Mulan made $304 million globally. It was released in theaters back in 1998.
The story is about a young Chinese woman who discovers that her fragile father will be asked to join the military.
Worried that he would not endure the difficulty of battle, she disguises herself and takes his position.
Disney announced back in September of 2016 that Mulan will be the latest movie project to get a live-action remake. Mulan has been out for 18 years now.
Disney has additionally also created non-animated makeovers of 2 classic films recently: The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.
Fans and followers are eager to find out who will be the stars for this film and if they will feature Chinese actors or not. Disney stated that they plan to film Mulan in China and the cast will consist mainly of Chinese.
An on-going petition being passed around is asking Disney to not “whitewash” the movie by using white actors. It has drawn over 111,000 signatures.
Who is Niki Caro:
- She was born in 1967 in Wellington, New Zealand
- Released in 1998, her first feature film as a director was Memory and Desire.
- Mulan isn’t the first time that Caro has worked on a Disney project, as she formerly directed 2015’s McFarland, USA.
- Caro also has directing credits on Whale Rider and The Zookeeper’s Wife
There has been numerous high profile films that have been criticized for using an actor who is not the same race of the character they’re playing.
One of these movies is The Great Wall featuring Matt Damon. Damon denies his casting in the film of robbing a Chinese actor of the role.
The Hollywood Chinese coproduction, led by Zhang Yimou, includes a majority Asian cast, but Damon was handed the main role.
Just before Niki Caro’s meeting to become the director of the brand new Mulan remake, the only other lady to direct a Disney film project with a budget of more than $100 million was Ava DuVernay.
Ava is currently the director of fantasy film, A Wrinkle in Time, which aims to release in 2018.
DuVernay is also the very first black lady to direct a film with a budget larger than $100m budget in film history.
This has always been a big industry issue. Hollywood is known to have very few female directors.
The only female to receive an Oscar for best director is Kathryn Bigelow, just roughly 7% of the directors of the top 250 movies of 2016 were women, according to Variety.
Who knows? Niki Caro’s upcoming role as the director of Mulan might be progress and hope to see more females in this position for future films.