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Chinese actress Liu Yifei to play Mulan in Disney’s live-action adaptation

The popular Chinese actress and singer will play the heroine of the classic Chinese folktale.

With one eye on racial correctness and another on the Chinese market, Disney has cast popular singer and actress Liu Yifei in its upcoming period adventure Mulan, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Based on the classic Chinese folk tale of a woman who disguises herself as a man to enroll in her father’s Army in fifth-century China, Mulan has been previously filmed by Disney as an animated movie in 1998. Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen voiced Mulan in the animated movie. The live-action version will be directed by Niki Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife, 2017) and will be released in 2019.

Liu Yifei, who is also known as Crystal Liu, has appeared in the Hollywood productions The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) and Outcast (2014) while also starring in a string of popular Chinese films. She spent part of her childhood in New York City and is fluent in English, The Hollywood Reporter said.

“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,” the publication said.

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