Jan de Bont to Direct Zhang Ziyi in Mulan


Variety reports that Jan de Bont (Speed, Twister, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life) will direct Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi in an independently-produced, English-language co-production of the classic tale of Hua Mulan, the legendary young heroine soldier who joins an all-male army.

Mulan is set to start shooting this fall at the gargantuan lots of the Hengdian World Studios, a three-hour drive from Shanghai in Zhejiang province. Mulan is expected to wrap in January.

The script was written by John Blickstead. The story was popularized in the 1998 Walt Disney animated film of the same name.

Zhang’s credits include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2046, Hero and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Mulan will be co-produced by Movie Plus Productions of Canada, Global Film Finance of the U.K., Beijing-based Bona International Film Group and SIMF Pictures, with Zhang, Ling Lucas and Beaver Kwei, the producers who brought China Zhang’s 2009 Sophie’s Revenge to theaters.

Executive producers are Paul Edwards, Jeffrey Chan of Bona International, Fred Wang of Salon Films, and Jeff Kranzdorf. Individual Mulan producers include Mark Phillips, Ron Lynch, Steve Waterman (Stuart Little) and Movie Plus President Christopher Brough.