After a worldwide search that took over a year, Disney has finally found the woman who will put on the armor for Mulan.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Chinese actress Liu Yifei known as Crystal Liu will be Disney’s heroine.
Casting directors searched far and wide for the star of the new feature directed by Niki Caro. Apparently, they visited five continents and saw almost 1,000 candidates for the role, until they went with Liu. The part of Mulan called for credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English, and star quality. Disney was under pressure to make the correct casting choice due to cultural accuracy and they focused on locally ethnically Chinese young women to play Hua Mulan. As depicted in the animated film, Mulan disguised herself as a man to take her father’s place in the army.
Disney has seemed to find the right actress for the part. Liu is a big name in China and has earned the nickname “Fairy Sister” due to her pure and innocent looks. She has appeared in numerous films and television dramas. Most recently she appeared in the film Once Upon a Time and has also appeared in the Ip Man series of films. Television dramas are huge in China and in 2006 she was in a forty episode series known as The Return of the Condor Heroes. She is also fluent in English and has appeared in films with Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
Niki Caro, who helmed The Zookeeper’s Wife with Jessica Chastain, is directing the picture for Disney. They are currently eyeing a 2019 release date for the picture. If it follows current Disney trends this will likely hit the same spring target that many of the previous live-action films have found success in.