Culture&Arts

Disney Finds Lead for Live-Action 'Mulan'

Disney Finds Lead for Live-Action 'Mulan'

Fans went straight to the internet to voice out their excitement about the news and celebrated Disney for staying true to the Chinese culture and history.

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to star in Disney's live-action adaptation of the classic Chinese tale Mulan.

While several studios have faced stark criticism for whitewashing their films, Yifei's racially sensitive casting was lauded on Twitter, much like the studio's casting of a Middle Eastern actor for the lead role in its live-action Aladdin earlier this year. Nicknamed "Fairy Sister" by the Chinese public for her pure and charming looks and image, she has been one of the country's most popular actresses of the present time since breaking out with a sequence of hit television dramas in the mid-2000s, while she was still an adolescent enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy.

The 1994 animated Mulan made US$304.3 million worldwide and received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

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In the upcoming film, Liu will play the titular role of Hua Mulan, a legendary woman warrior who disguises herself as a man in order to enlist herself in the army and take her feeble father's place in 5th century China.

Casting directors were looking for a young ethnic Chinese woman who had martial arts skills, star quality and could speak English, the report said. She's fluent in English and even lived in Queens, New York City, as a kid, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

She has starred alongside Jackie Chan in the 2008 action movie The Forbidden Kingdom and 2014's Outcast with Nicolas Cage. She also starred differing Emile Hirsch in Danish auteur Bille August's period passion The Chinese Widow, which solved the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.

The remake has been pencilled in for a 2019 release.