Niki Caro to direct live-action Mulan film

The upcoming live-action remake of Mulan will be helmed by Niki Caro, the director of acclaimed 2002 film Whale Rider.

Niki Caro has signed on to direct the live-action version of Disney's Mulan.

Caro earned recognition for her 2002 family drama Whale Rider and received further acclaim for 2015 film McFarland, USA. She is also behind the upcoming adaptation of The Zookeeper's Wife, starring Jessica Chastain.

As Variety notes, the New Zealand-based director had previously been a circling the female-driven Captain Marvel, but instead she's taking on the classic tale of Mulan, about a young girl who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father's place in an army.

It's based on the Chinese folk legend of Hua Mulan and was first brought to the big screen by Disney back in 1998, with the animated movie featuring the vocals of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer and George Takei.

Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, the writers behind the Jurassic World and Avatar sequels, will pen the Mulan screenplay and Bill Kong, who has worked on several hits in China, is attached to executive produce the film. The Oscar-nominee is behind visual marvels such as House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and his involvement is part of Disney's much publicised effort to preserve the story's Chinese origin.

Mulan, slated for release in November 2018, will be Disney's second film with a budget above $100 million (£80 million) to be directed by a woman, following Ava DuVernay signing on to adapt A Wrinkle in Time.

The Mulan adaptation is the latest in a string of live-action Disney remakes, which began with Maleficent back in 2014, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. Since then there's been Cinderella in 2015, The Jungle Book last year (16) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

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