Disney's Live-Action MULAN Casts Chinese Actress Liu Yifei As The Titular Heroine

Following an extensive year-long search that spanned the entire globe, Disney has just formally announced that they've found their lead for Niki Caro's upcoming live-action adaptation of Mulan!

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been cast as the titular heroine in Walt Disney Pictures' upcoming live-action adaptation of their 1998 animated classic, Mulan

Similarly to their casting process for the lead role in Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, Liu's casting also comes after an extensive worldwide search that spanned five continents and saw a team of casting directors audition over 1,000 possible candidates for the role, which is said to have required credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English, and a true intangible: star quality. There was also an added focus on casting an ethnically Chinese young woman to accurately portray the title character Hua Mulan.

Niko Caro (The Zookeeper's Wife) is helming the feature with a script from Jurassic World and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Liu will take over the role from Ming-Na Wen (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), who originally voiced the character in the 1998 animated feature.

While Liu may be far from a household name in the States, she is quite beloved back in the MIddle Kingdom, having been nicknamed the "Fairy Sister" by the public for her sweet and delicate image. Her resume includes starring roles in a number of big-budget hits, including Once Upon A Time, The Forbidden Kingdom alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and The Assassins.

While a production start date hasn't been confirmed, the studio is reportedly eyeing a 2019 release date, so expect the film to begin principal photography at some point next year.

So, what do you guys think? Sound off with your thoughts below!
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