Niki Caro is taking command on Mulan.
EW has confirmed that the Whale Rider and McFarland, USA filmmaker is set to direct Disney’s live-action movie inspired by Hua Mulan, the Chinese folk heroine who took her aged father’s place in battle.
Also joining the project is Hong Kong movie mogul Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero), who will serve as executive producer.
Billed as a combination of the centuries-old legend and Disney’s 1998 animated film of the same name, the new Mulan features a script originally penned by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, and rewritten by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The film is slated to hit theaters in November 2018.
The project previously sparked controversy when reports emerged that an early draft of the script featured a Caucasian love interest, leading to allegations of whitewashing. After fans gathered more than 19,000 signatures and launched the Twitter hashtag #MakeMulanRight, Disney promised that all the primary roles in the film would be Chinese.
Caro, a New Zealand native, will next be in theaters with The Zookeeper’s Wife, a World War II drama starring Jessica Chastain.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.