For those of you who do not know, Disney announced late last year that they would be tackling a live action version of their very popular Chinese based animated film, Mulan.
Mulan is loosely based on a Chinese legend telling the story of a young woman who secretly goes to war in place of her father in the Chinese army. While taking his place she overcomes many battles and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has hired Niki Caro as the director for the live action version of Mulan. Her most recent film released is 2015’s McFarland, USA which had Kevin Costner in the lead. You can also see on March 31st her newest film, The Zookeeper’s Wife. In both films Caro had to immures herself in a different culture in order to accurately depict the time era in which they take place. This kind of film making experience, is probably why Disney hired her on.
Unfortunately, this project started off with controversy when a speculative report went out last year stating that Disney was whitewashing the film, and making the lead a white male. Disney was quick to debunk this rumor as unfounded, but Twitter comments persisted. Expect the conversation to begin again as news spreads of Caro, who is white, directing an Asian based film.
It is worth noting that Disney was in talks with Ang Lee, who passed on the project due to scheduling conflicts, as well as Jiang Wen, who has directed many films in China, but passed on the opportunity as well. Producers Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner have assured fans that Disney’s live action Mulan will be culturally authentic.
I, for one, am not worried about the whitewashing of Mulan. Disney knows what is at stake. They will do their best to avoid the PR nightmare that would come from such a bad decision.
Now that Disney has decided on their director expect casting news to start trickling in on who will be playing the fearsome, female warrior.
Mulan is currently set for a November 2, 2018 release date.