Today it was announced via an exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter that Disney has found its lead in their live-action adaptation of Mulan. After an extensive year long search for the perfect actress, it was announced that Chinese actress Liu Yifei had been selected for the role of Mulan.
The qualifications for the role were extensive. Disney went through over 1000 actresses to find the perfect Mulan. The actress they were looking for needed to have a proficiency in English and martial arts. In order to maintain cultural accuracy (and to not piss off a whole bunch of people), they focused on finding an ethnically Chinese woman to play the role. Liu Yifei was the perfect fit.
Liu Yifei has been an actress to watch for quite some time. American audiences will mostly know her from her first Hollywood role in the Jackie Chan and Jet Li helmed film, The Forbidden Kingdom. Or they might also know her from the Nicolas Cage film, The Outcast. However, she’s been taking China by storm for several years now and is actually one of my favorite Chinese actresses.
Over in China, she is known as “Fairy Sister” because of her pure and innocent looks as well as the public image she’s cultivated. She has primarily made her name known by appearing in Chinese historical films as well as fantasy films. One of my favorites with her in it is A Chinese Ghost Story, which I had happened to watch while trapped inside my dorm in Shanghai during a super typhoon.
Niki Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife) will be directing the film. Disney is currently eyeing a 2019 release, but we will keep you updated on any developments moving forward.
What do you think of the news? Are you excited? Happy? Upset? Let us know in the comments below.