Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Casts Chinese Actress Liu Yifei in Coveted Lead Role
By Jackie Willis
Meet the new Hua Mulan!
Disney announced that after a worldwide search for the leading lady in its upcoming live-action movie, Mulan, Chinese actress Liu Yifei has landed the role.
For those unfamiliar with the beloved tale, Mulan follows a young Chinese maiden who disguises herself as a warrior in order to save her father.
Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is apparently widely known in China as "Fairy Sister" for her appearance. In addition to acting, she's also made a name for herself as a singer and a model.
At age 11, Yifei moved to New York City with her mother, only to return to China a few years later in 2002 to pursue her acting career. The 30-year-old actress' most recent credits include movies The Chinese Widow and Once Upon a Time, which earned $82.3 million in China this summer.
She's also a brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier and Pantene.
Yifei is the first to be cast in the highly anticipated movie, which is to be directed by Niki Caro, who most recently helmed The Zookeeper’s Wife.
The last time the story of Mulan was on the big screen was in Disney's 1998 animated version, which earned a whopping $304.3 million worldwide as well as Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.
Back in April, Ming-Na Wen, the voice behind the animated Hua Mulan, teased that she might have a role in the live-action movie. "I would love to have a part in it in some way," she confessed. "We'll see -- knock on wood!"