Mulan: Disney casts Chinese star Liu Yifei in lead role for upcoming live-action remake

The 30-year-old actress, who is also known as Crystal Liu, is a well-known Chinese model, actress and singer.

FP Staff November 30, 2017 14:08:05 IST
Mulan: Disney casts Chinese star Liu Yifei in lead role for upcoming live-action remake

It took a year of searching and nearly 1,000 candidates, but the Walt Disney Studios has finally found its Mulan.

Hollywood Reporter said the studio has confirmed that Chinese actress Liu Yifei will play the warrior in the live-action epic from director Niki Caro. A team of casting directors visited five continents to find an actress who was well-versed in martial arts and English and — most of all — possessed star quality.

Mulan Disney casts Chinese star Liu Yifei in lead role for upcoming liveaction remake

Walt Disney Studios has cast Liu Yifei as the title character Mulan in the live-action epic. Twitter/@PopCrav

The 30-year-old actress, who is also known as Crystal Liu, is a well-known Chinese model, actress and singer. She has appeared in films like The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Outcast with Nicolas Cage.

An online petition, which was started demanding the casting of an Asian actress in the lead role, attracted more than 112,000 signatures. Hollywood films have repeatedly faced criticism over “whitewashing”, casting white actors in Asian roles. Emma Stone’s 'Chinese-Hawaiian' character in Aloha, Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi (anglicised as Major Mira Killian) in Ghost in the Shell. With Liu's casting, it looks like the petition was a success.

Disney says the story will be inspired by the animated film from 1998 and The Ballad of Mulan. Bill Kong, who has produced films like House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is executive producing the film.

It is expected to hit theaters in 2019.

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