Sony’s ‘Mulan’ Lands ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Alex Graves
Well that didn’t take very long. Last week, a report revealed that not only is Disney seeking Chinese actors for their live-action remake of Mulan, but they’re looking for an Asian filmmaker, too. That same report noted that Sony was also looking for an Asian filmmaker for their competing live-action Mulan project. While Disney’s search is ongoing, Sony has already landed on a director and — big fat not-surprise — it’s a white man.
According to Deadline, Sony has tapped Alex Graves, a veteran TV director and producer recently best known for Game of Thrones, Homeland and Bloodline. Sure, he’s a talented white guy with a couple of decades of experience, but the speed with which Sony went from actively searching for an Asian filmmaker to settling for the default is hilariously ridiculous. It’s like when your BFF says she’s cutting out refined sugar and then like, two days later she’s elbow-deep in a sixer of cupcakes.
THR’s report from last week revealed that Ang Lee had passed on the opportunity to direct the live-action Mulan remake for Disney, which remained committed to “ideally” finding an Asian filmmaker to helm the film — which is inspired by Chinese legend and set in China. Sony’s swift move to hire a white man (which you can basically buy in bulk in Hollywood) reiterates the industry’s troubling lack of diversity. Surely there are other Asian filmmakers besides Ang Lee (or even Justin Lin). Surely Sony is aware that they could pitch the project to Asian filmmakers who don’t typically make English-language films, right? Surely they know that there are Asian filmmakers who helm indies or come from a strong television background (like Graves), and who would probably love the chance to make a big studio film.
To that end, either studio could easily hire a woman to direct Mulan — since it is, you know, a story about a fierce and brave young warrior woman. But I guess that would take some effort, or even a passing interest in anything beyond the default setting.