We may or may not be asking for them, but Disney is continuing to roll out live-action remakes of their most famous animated films. We’ve known about their Mulan remake for some time, and after signing on director Niki Caro in February, Disney has now completed the long, worldwide search for their lead actress. Per THR, Chinese actress Liu Yifei has landed the coveted role.
Also known as Crystal Liu, the 30-year old actress has been nicknamed “Fairy Sister” by the Chinese press and public for her “pure” image. The casting of Liu ended a search by Disney that spanned five continents and 1,000 potential actresses, for an ethnically Chinese lead with martial arts skills and the ability to speak English. Liu fits the bill, being fluent in English and having acted in both Chinese and Hollywood productions. Like with Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, Disney has publicly made diversity and authenticity a must in these projects.
Liu appeared in American films such as The Forbidden Kingdom (with Jackie Chan and Jet Li) and Outcast (with Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen). Her recent Chinese credits include Once Upon a Time (unrelated to the ABC show that also features Mulan), The Assassins, Never Gone and The Four trilogy.
Mulan will hit theaters on Nov. 2, 2018.