Disney's Live-Action Mulan Finds Its Lead Actress

Disney's Live-Action Mulan Finds Its Lead Actress

Fans might be familiar with her work, as the actress has appeared in The Forbidden Kingdom, with Jackie Chan and Jet-Li.

THR reports that casting directors visited five continents to find the right actress for the role.

She has also recently starred in ABC's Once Upon a Time, playing the character of Bai Qian'.

It'll be the latest beloved Disney film to be transformed into a live-action movie, with "Cinderella", "The Jungle Book" and "Beauty and the Beast" among the recent remakes.

Like the casting search for the leads in Disney's live-action Aladdin, the search for Mulan was extensive, lasting for a year, spanning over five continents, and featuring almost 1,000 candidates.

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The actress, who also goes by Crystal Liu, is already a massive superstar in mainland China and won the role after an exhaustive search for someone who was ethnically Chinese, could speak English and had martial arts skills.

Liu lived in Queens as a child. Niki Caro of The Zookeeper's Wife fame will be directing the film.

Already a celebrated figure in the entertainment industry in her native China, Liu has been nicknamed "fairy sister" in the media due to her image.

She has also been a brand ambassador for Dior, Garnier and Pantene, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In both, Hua Mulan is a young Chinese woman who dresses as a man and takes her father's place in the Chinese army during the fifth century.

Based on a Chinese folktale, the original animated Mulan earned $304.3 million worldwide, and received several Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.

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