|Well-known actress Liu Yifei has been cast to star as the female warrior in Disney's live-action adaptation of classic Chinese heroine story, Mulan. [WeChat]|
Through a year-long search across the globe, Liu stood out from 1,000 candidates, said Hollywood Reporter.
c, which has been criticized in the past for casting Caucasian actors for Asian roles, focused on finding a young Chinese woman to play Hua Mulan, who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father's place in the battlefield in the fifth century.
Casting directors travelled across five continents for the role, which requires mastery of martial arts, fluency in English and unique on-screen presence.
Liu, known as the "Fairy Sister" due to her role in the Hong Kong-based novelist Jin Yong's Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, is popular in China for her pure and innocent image. She graduated from Beijing Film Academy, one of the top institutions for cinema arts in China.
She has starred in many English films, including The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, Outcast (2014) with Nicolas Cage; and, The Chinese Widow, which was helmed by Danish director Bille August.
The new Mulan film will be directed by Niki Caro and is scheduled for a release in 2019.
(Source: Reference News / Translated and edited by Women of China)