Lara Croft director tackling another female heroine

Cinematographer turned director Jan de Bont (“Speed”, “Twister”) will direct Zhang Ziyi in a live-action version of “Mulan”.

The polar opposite of most of his Hollywood efforts, de Bont’s “Mulan” will be an independently-financed production that’s emphasis will be as much on action as it will drama and romance.

“This is the first independent film directed by Jan de Bont, whose worldwide boxoffice track record is huge,” Easternlight managing director and “Mulan” producer Ying Ye told The Hollywood Reporter, saying that pairing de Bont, Zhang and the story of Hua Mulan was “a winning combination.”

Mulan was a heroine who joined an all-male army, described in a Chinese poem known as the Ballad of Mulan.

Though the producers would not speak financials, they did tell the trade that this is “the perfect opportunity to bring to the screen the ideal synthesis of western and Chinese movie making skills with both a top actress and director, each of whom is globally recognized for their commercial and artistic success in equal measure.”