Disney's Live-Action Mulan Finds Its Lead Actress

VCG via Getty Images                   Liu Yifei

VCG via Getty Images Liu Yifei

Disney has also been making live action versions of some of their classic animated stories recently, most recently Beauty and the Beast, along with The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and others.

Disney has seemed to find the right actress for the part.

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Disney has found its lead for the upcoming live-action Mulan remake. And Yifei was selected due to her "ineffable star quality".

However, according to a article, the response to Disney's choice has been somewhat mixed in China with netizens criticizing Liu for being a boring, bad actor that has been in too many box office flops. A 40-episode stint on the Chinese TV show The Return of the Condor Heroes garnered her tons of popularity, as well as the nickname "Fairy Sister" by the Chinese public (for her innocent image and delicate features).

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The casting process reportedly involved a year-long worldwide search, during which nearly 1000 actresses auditioned for the role of Hua Mulan, who posed as a man in order to take her father's place in the army in fifth-century China.

The film also has high pedigree in its direction from Niki Caro. Yifei's film credits include The Forbidden Kingdom, Outcast, Ip Man 3, and The Chinese Window. Caro, who also was being considered by another branch of Disney for Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel, is a strong choice, as she herself must have impressed the House of Mouse who was originally seeking a director of Asian heritage. Fans feared that Disney planned to "whitewash" the Chinese legend, particularly after a satirical tweet that Jennifer Lawrence had won the role was taken as real news.

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Mulan is expected to hit theaters theaters in 2019.

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