With Disney’s live-action version of Beauty And The Beast currently sitting as the highest grossing film of 2017, along with a few other big successes, it’s safe to say their plan to update their classic catalogue is turning out well. Movement on another big adaptation has now taken a big step forward.
The studio has cast Chinese actress Liu Yifei – sometimes known as “Crystal Liu” – to play the lead role in the live-action adaptation of Mulan. Per THR, “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”.
Lui is not yet a household name in the US, but she soon will be once Disney gets their marketing going. She is a star in China, having recently starred in the fantasy romance Once Upon A Time, which earned $82.3 million, while she’s also starred in The Forbidden Kingdom and The Assassins.
Attention now turns to who Disney will cast in the other main roles, namely the male lead Shang, the villainous Shan-Yu and Mushu, Mulan’s dragon/guardian.
The film is set to be directed by Niki Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife), and although no start date has been announced yet, the studio is reportedly eyeing a 2019 release date.