Yes! Disney Hired a Woman to Direct the *Mulan* Live-Action Remake
When Disney announced it was making a live-action version of Mulan, we were thrilled—and a bit skeptical. In today’s tumultuous culture, we need to see more powerful films about women and minorities, but many people were understandably afraid that Disney would whitewash Mulan. After all, Hollywood has a history of casting white actors to play Asian or half-Asian characters. So when an anonymous writer, who goes by the name Angry Asian Man, published a piece that claimed the spec script for Mulan featured a white male lead, we were disappointed and hoped it wasn’t true.
Happily, there is some good news about the project: Disney announced this week that a female director will helm the Mulan remake. Amazing, right? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney chose Niki Caro to spearhead the film after considering several others, including Asian directors Ang Lee and Jiang Wen. Of course it would’ve been even better if Disney had hired an Asian female to direct the project, but the fact that Hong Kong–based Bill Kong is the executive producer of Mulan helps assure that the casting will be done correctly. (THR also reports that Mulan producers are focusing their casting efforts in China, another great sign.)
Caro’s past work indicates that Mulan will be in good hands. Her 2005 film, North Country, earned two Oscar nominations, and Jessica Chastain, the star of Caro’s latest movie, The Zookeeper’s Wife, recently lauded the director for keeping the vibe on set gender inclusive. Caro will be the second woman in history to direct a film with a budget of more than $100 million. (The first is Ava DuVernay, for the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time.) Here, here!
Mulan is slated for a 2018 release, and we now have high hopes! Don’t let us down Disney. Every ’90s kid in the world is watching.