EW has confirmed that the Whale Rider and McFarland, USA filmmaker is set to direct Disney's live-action movie inspired by Hua Mulan, the Chinese folk heroine who took her aged father's place in battle. She also most recently helmed this year's upcoming The Zookeeper's Wife with Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl. Rewritten by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver for live-action, Mulan has been in Disney's plan for a couple years now, and might even eclipse the anticipation for live-action Beauty in the Beast once a trailer is unveiled.
Disney also considered other women for its woman-warrior project, including Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones). Disney previously worked with Caro, a New Zealand native, on the 2015 cross-country drama McFarland, USA, for which she lived in central California for almost a year to immerse herself in the Mexican-American community there. But with Captain Marvel and Mulan opening within a few months of each other, we can safely assume she won't be steering the Marvel superheroine pic.
Caro's involvement makes her the second woman to direct a movie budgeted at over $100 million for Disney, with Ava DuVernay and A Wrinkle in Time being the first; hopefully establishing a new norm with the studio that will be upheld in future productions. The film is slated to hit theaters in November 2018. Previous reports indicated Disney had been seeking an Asian director for the job. Caro is also involved with Netflix's adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, directing the two-hour premiere episode of the series. Hong Kong-based producer Bill Kong will executive produce the movie. But scheduling issues forced Lee to decline the project, and reported interest in Jiang Wen - a star of Disney's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and a successful director in his native China - didn't pan out, either.
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