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Popular Chinese actress Liu Yifei stars as live-action Mulan in new trailer!

By Say Peng  /  08 Jul 2019 (Monday)

A live-action remake of Mulan has been in development since 2010. At that time, Zhang Ziyi was slated to star in the film, but the film got cancelled. 

At one point, Disney even approached Ang Lee to direct, but as he was busy with promotional activities for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Lee turned the project down. 

The lack of the main lead to play Mulan was the other big issue. The role was under intense media scrutiny due to past cases of whitewashing.

After a global search, auditioning nearly 1000 candidates for a demanding role that required the actress to speak English, ride horses, perform martial arts, and with the necessary star power, Disney picked Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei.

As you can see in the trailer below, Liu seems perfect for the role.

Some American audiences will be scratching their heads at who Liu is, but for Chinese audiences, she is a household name.

Crowned one of the New Four Dan Actresses in China, Liu rose to popularity in 2003 after starring in two highly successful TV series, The Story of a Noble Family and Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils.

Her first Hollywood role was in the Jackie Chan and Jet Li-starring fantasy kung fu wuxia film The Forbidden Kingdom. 

In 2014, she acted with Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen in the action film Outcast. 

Liu also worked with two-time Palme d'Or winner, Swedish director Bille August, in his war film The Chinese Widow.

Mulan is directed by New Zealander director Niki Caro, making her the second female and the second New Zealand director hired by Disney to direct a film of over $100 million budget.

Caro has previously directed The Zookeeper's Wife.

In an interview with Moviefone two years ago, Caro revealed some crucial details about the Mulan remake. She said that there will be no songs ("to the horror of her children") and that it will be a "big, girly martial arts epic", "extremely muscular and thrilling", in the style of Ridley Scott. 

Mulan will be showing in cinemas in March 2020.
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