This week, after a year of auditions and seeing thousands of women, Disney has finally made a choice and cast Liu Yifei as the title character in the forthcoming Mulan live-action film. Liu is a Chineses actress, model, and singer who is also known as Crystal Liu.

Mulan
Liu Yifei

The Hollywood Reporter reported that a team of casting directors saw almost 1,000 potential Mulans and visited five continents in their search. The role which will require martial arts training also requires the actress to be able to speak English and bring star power to the film.

That star power is more so for the international market, not quite the American market, where your average citizen may not be well versed in the pop culture and big stars of other countries.

Some outlets are reporting that Liu is as big as Emma Watson in her home country. The actress’ first television appearance happened in 2003 when she starred in a period romance drama The Story of a Noble Family. The drama was based on Zhang Henshui’s novel of the same name. The series got high ratings on CCTV. That same year she was cast in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils which became the highest-rated mainland drama in Taiwan.

Liu Yifei has also acted alongside Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Nicolas Cage, and Hayden Christensen. With her casting, Disney has landed one of China’s most popular actresses. The live-action Mulan will be directed by Niki Caro (The Zoo Keeper’s Wife) with Bill Kong, producer of Crouching Tiger as the film’s executive producer. No word yet on the rest of the cast.

Mulan is set to be released in 2019 and reportedly starts filming in January.

Are you excited to see Mulan? Do you have any cast suggestions?

 

Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. She’s a freelance writer and alum of Towson University where she studied advertising, public relations, and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and kiramira_.

 

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