Niki Caro, director of the 2002 indie hit “Whale Rider,” has been chosen to direct Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan,” TheWrap has learned.
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.” Disney previously signed Caro to direct the 2015 inspirational sports movie “McFarland, USA,” which tells the story of a football coach who finds a new purpose as the coach of a high school cross-country team consisting of poor Latino boys in central California.
In addition, Disney has also brought in Hong Kong mega-producer Bill Kong to serve as executive producer for the film. Kong has had his name attached to many box office hits in China, and helped pilot “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Disney is reportedly planning on casting actors from China for the main roles.
“Mulan” is one of 14 upcoming live-action remakes of Disney’s most popular IP, including “Dumbo,” “Snow White,” “The Little Mermaid,” and next month’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Disney’s full-scale revival project comes on the heels of remakes like “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Jungle Book,” both of which grossed over $1 billion worldwide. “Jungle Book” was a particular surprise hit, smashing box office projections by racking up $103 million in its opening weekend alone. The live-action projects have brought in top talent like Guy Ritchie, Jon Favreau, Tim Burton, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Mulan” will be released November 2, 2018.