Liu Yifei cast as Mulan in Disney live-action remake
Liu Yifei is set to star as the titular character is Disney's live-action remake of 'Mulan'.
After a yearlong worldwide search, the 30-year-old Chinese actress - who is also known as Crystal Liu - has been cast to play the lead in the new adaptation helmed by Niki Caro, The Hollywood Reporter claims.
It's reported a team of casting directors visited five continents and spoke to nearly 1,000 candidates for the role which required credible martial arts skills and the ability to speak English.
Yifei is one of China's most popular actresses since breaking out with a series of TV dramas and is fluent in English having lived in New York for part of her childhood and even starred in 2008's 'The Forbidden Kingdom' alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
Disney original adapted the myth into a popular animation back in 1998 and followed Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) who takes her father's spot despite being technically unqualified to serve due to being a woman.
Impersonating a man, she goes off to train with fellow recruits, accompanied by her dragon Mushu (Eddie Murphy), Mulan uses her smarts to help ward off a Hun invasion and falls in love with the captain along the way.
The 1998 animation featured hit songs including 'Reflection' and 'I'll Make a Man Out of You', but filmmaker Caro revealed the new adaptation will not be a musical - unlike the other live-action Disney remakes.
Speaking to Moviefone, Caro confirmed: "Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children."
Sean Bailey, the president of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios, recently said Caro would be taking a "very muscular" approach to the tale, and the director confirmed his comments about her plans for the "girly martial arts epic".
The screenplay is written by Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Elizabeth Martin, Amanda Silver and produced by Chris Bender, William Kong, Jason Reed, J.C. Spink and Jake Weiner.