Last week we learned that there were two studios involved in dueling live-action Mulan projects. One is from Disney, while the other is from Sony. Both promised that their films would prominently feature an Asian cast and have an Asian filmmaker in the director’s chair.
Disney had their hopes set on Ang Lee directing their project, but the director passed. Interestingly enough, it was thought that Sony would give their live-action Mulan to Lee, considering that they are distributing his latest directorial effort, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. But it looks like that isn’t happening either as Sony has tapped Game of Thrones director Alex Graves to make their live-action Mulan. More on the story below.
For a studio to say they were actively looking for an Asian filmmaker to helm their live-action Mulan, Sony quickly caved in and found a white guy to direct. What was the rush to begin with if their project was still in very early development and would be released long after Disney’s version hit theaters in the fall of 2018?
Deadline’s confirmation doesn’t offer any answers as to why Sony wouldn’t want to tackle the issue of the lack of diversity, and says the film is being designed for the international marketplace so its pace won’t necessarily be determined by progress on the Disney film. However, there will still be an Asian cast and an Asian lead, and it will be a Chinese co-production. Mirror Mirror scribe Jason Keller wrote the script.
If the reports are true, Disney is continuing to search for an Asian filmmaker to helm their Mulan. It’s not as though there is a shortage of Asian directors out there. It’s just a matter of finding one who doesn’t typically make English-language films.
As for Alex Graves, he’s produced highly acclaimed television shows like The West Wing. He also directed episodes of Game of Thrones, Homeland, Bloodline, and House of Cards, and will direct the pilot episode for the TV adaptation of Taken.