‘Mulan’ Director Niki Caro To Direct ‘Beautiful Ruins’ | Film News
Mulan director Niki Caro, whose film should be one of the first major Hollywood releases when it arrives in August, has signed on to direct Beautiful Ruins for Sam Mendes‘ Neal Street banner and Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Partners.
The film is based on Jess Walter‘s bestselling novel, and will be adapted by Mark Hammer and Chiara Atik, who are working off an earlier draft from Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
Set in 1962 at an Italian seaside village, the film will revolve around a charming young man who runs a hotel with no guests. That is until an “American starlet” arrives fresh from the set of Cleopatra and captures his heart. Five decades later, a jaded assistant to a formerly powerful producer gets caught up in the magic of the man’s story and takes it upon herself to find a happy ending.
The film has been described as “a romantic social satire about Hollywood culture”. The book reportedly jumps around between different places, relying heavily on excerpts of letters, screenplays and novels being written by the characters. It will be interesting to see how a book where the reading of letters, screenplays and novels drives the story will be adapted into a film.
The project was initially developed by director Todd Field, who co-wrote a script with Walter and even attached Imogen Poots to star, but that version never got off the ground. Mendes reportedly got his hands on the book in September 2016 and was able to put this version into place.
Caro’s Mulan will now hit cinemas Friday, August 21 and will hopefully introduce a wider audience to her directing. She’s previously helmed films such as the Kevin Costner sports movie McFarland, USA and the Jessica Chastain film The Zookeeper’s Wife. She also recently won a DGA award for Netflix’s Anne With An E and also directed the pilot for Amazon’s Daisy And The Six.
Caro’s Mulan may possibly be the most expensive film ever made by a woman (at least temporarily; Chloe Zhao‘s Eternals may nab the top spot soon), so she’ll certainly be up to the task of helming Beautiful Ruins, which sounds like a smaller project, although one still big enough to have Mendes and Spielberg involved in some capacity.
It sounds more like a film to be driven by its stars, so we’ll see who signs on for the lead roles. Expect to hear more about the film once Mulan drops and, if it’s any good, people become interested in seeing what Caro does next.