Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Sony Pictures just last week said that they were seeking out an Asian director for their Mulan project, which will not be related to the Disney flick. Cut to today's news (per Deadline) that they've landed on TV director Alex Graves and you can imagine the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching going down on film Twitter.
I don't have much of a passionate opinion myself. This is the first time I've registered Alex Graves' name, although I've seen his work on Game of Thrones. All the directing on that show is great, so I'm sure he'll do well with this project, but I understand why the progressive film bloggers out there are up in arms about Sony backing away from giving a shot to an actual Asian filmmaker instead of another white dude.
That said, James Wan does okay directing white people scare-em-ups and Justin Lin kicked ass with the multi-cultural high octane soap opera Fast and Furious franchise. I don't just want to see Asian filmmakers thought of when a movie about their culture is up for grabs, just like I don't want to see talented female filmmakers only thought of when there's a female-led superhero movie in production. I'm happy that the studios are broadening their thinking when it comes to their films, so I can't complain too much, but I think that's the ultimate goal: Hire talented people when they fit with the project and have a passionate take on it, race/gender not being a factor.
But I get why people are upset that there's going to be a serious retelling of Hua Mulan's story, aimed at an international audience with a Chinese lead, but without any significant Asian figurehead behind the camera. The situation is also made worse with the recent comments by the studio that they were searching for an Asian director and apparently couldn't find one in the last five days.
It's not a good look, but at the end of the day all I want is a good movie. If Graves can deliver that, then awesome. We'll see. Alan Taylor was also plucked from Game of Thrones and gave us Thor 2, which is one of my least favorite Marvel movies.
What do you folks think?