Disney finds its Mulan
Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been chosen to play the lead role in Disney’s live action remake of “Mulan”.
After an auditioning process that involved over 1,000 candidates, Disney has found someone that fulfills its criteria. The legendary warrior was the title character in Walt Disney Pictures’ 1998 animated feature of the same name, a critical and commercial hit that made over $300 million at the international box office.
Award-winning New Zealand director Niki Caro will be working with Crystal Liu for Disney’s 2019 remake of “Mulan”, the Chinese actress already well-versed in high profile action adventure productions.
She’s been in “The Assassins” with Chow Yun-Fat, “Ip Man 3” with Donnie Yen, “The Forbidden Kingdom” with Jet Li and Jackie Chan, and led 40-episode TV series “The Return of the Condor Heroes”.
As well as English-language feature “The Forbidden Kingdom”, the Chinese star has also demonstrated her fluency as an anglophone in “Outcast” and “The Chinese Widow”.
And, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, Liu is not only a film star but a fashion icon, having fronted campaigns for luxury brands Dior, Tissot, Farnier and Pantene.
Director Niki Caro made a big splash with her second feature, 2002’s “Whale Rider”, whose lead actress was nominated for an Academy Award, while Caro and her fellow producers collected a BAFTA from the British Academy.
She also received a Special Recognition award from the United States’ National Board of Review, the World Cinema Audience Award from Sundance and the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.
Since then, she has directed historical drama “North Country” starring Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand, sports biography “McFarland, USA”, featuring Kevin Costner, and wartime animal rescue mission “The Zookeeper’s Wife” with Jessica Chastain. JB
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