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Fish director Niki Caro lands major Disney gig

Flying Fish Director Niki Caro has been handpicked to direct a live-action remake of Disney’s Mulan.

In landing the gig, Caro becomes only the second woman to direct a Disney project with a budget of more than $100 million and only the fifth women to direct a movie over that budget benchmark.

“We’re all seriously proud of Niki’s achievements, apart from being an incredible talent, she is a wonderful human and passionately spirited New Zealander,” says Fish executive producer James Moore. 

The original animated version of Mulan grossed US$ 304 million when it was released in 1998, and Disney now believes the timing is right to visit the story of a Chinese girl who disguises herself as a warrior to take the place of her father.    

Having previously directed Whale Rider, North Country (with Charlize Theron), A Heavenly Vintage, McFarland USA (with Kevin Costner), Anne of Green Gables (for Netflix) and the soon-to-be-released Zookeeper’s Wife, Caro is no stranger to working with big budgets and big talents and has already won a host of awards for her directorial work.

Working with Disney on a project of this scale will, however, pose a range of challenges, largely due to the public scrutiny placed on the entertainment company’s projects.

Already, before the cast has even been confirmed, questions have been asked of whether white actors will be commissioned to play the lead roles in the film—a topic, which is particularly relevant given Matt Damon’s recent casting in Great Wall.

That said, there were similar concerns in the lead up to Moana and everything turned out okay in that instance.

The remake of Mulan is scheduled for release in 2018.   

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