Disney’s Live-Action Mulan Finds a Director in Whale Rider’s Niki Caro

Niki Caro, who’s name had been floated for Marvel’s Captain Marvel directing gig, has landed a different job for Disney. She’s set to direct their live-action Mulan project.

The Hollywood Reporter says today:

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). Caro’s hiring likely takes her out of the running for Captain Marvel, the studio’s first female-fronted superhero movie. THR reported last August that she was on the short list of directors for that film, along with Homeland’s Lesli Linka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria, who directed 2012’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

Caro, who directed Whale Rider, is now officially the second female director to get a Disney film with a budget of over $100 million according to THR. The first was of course Ava DuVernay who is currently working on A Wrinkle in Time for them. Disney previously worked with Caro on McFarland, USA and her most recent work was The Zookeeper’s Wife.

THR also notes Disney was initially trying to hire an Asian director (Sony’s own Mulan project hired Alex Graves to direct) for the project, and considered at least two men, but remain committed to a Chinese cast. THR writes, “In addition to extensive conversations with Chinese cultural consultants and working closely with Disney’s own China-based team, the studio is bringing on Hong Kong-based super-producer Bill Kong as executive producer.”