Sure, some other Disney-related news may be dominating everyone’s attention today, but the House of Mouse isn’t just sitting watching the hits go up on the Avengers: Infinity War trailer today. Disney has also been making live action versions of some of their classic animated stories recently, most recently Beauty and the Beast, along with The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and others. Mulan is one of the next live-action Disney remakes on the list, and Disney has found its star for the titular role.
Chinese actress Liu Yifei will portray Hua Mulan in the live-action remake of the classic Chinese tale, coming to theaters in 2019. Picking Liu Yifei ends a comprehensive search by Disney casting directors, who had several very specific criteria in mind:
A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, which requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and the most ineffable requirement of all: star quality. In deference to cultural accuracy, the studio focused on locating an ethnically Chinese young woman to play Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s army conscription in fifth-century China.
Liu checks all of those boxes, as she has become one of China’s most popular actresses recently. She is also fluent in English, having spent some of her childhood in Queens, New York. Liu has appeared in several English movies including The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Jet Li as well as Outcast, starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen.
The live-action remake of Mulan will be directed by Niki Caro and should see a theatrical release sometime in 2019.Source: Hollywood Reporter