Disney has found its 'Mulan' in Liu Yifei

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The upcoming live-action "Mulan" remake will be directed by Niki Caro of "The Zookeeper's Wife" and is expected to be released in 2019.

"Mulan" is the story of a powerful young Chinese woman who fought against the Huns in place of her father. The 1998 film was so well-received by critics and the public, earning USD304 million (RM1.24 billion) worldwide as well as Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.

Disney's live-action adaptations are continuing apace, and one that's being closely watched is Mulan - especially for its casting.

It took a year of searching and almost 1,000 candidates, but the Walt Disney Studios has found its Mulan.

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Disney announced previous year that the Mulan reboot would feature an all-Asian cast after fans started a petition to make sure the film is not whitewashed by Hollywood again.

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, was picked out of almost one thousand candidates to play the lead role. A team of casting directors visited five continents to find an actress who was well-versed in martial arts and English and - most of all - possessed star quality.

Disney's upcoming re-telling won't be Liu's first Hollywood project, though. She's fluent in English and even lived in Queens, New York City, as a kid, according to the Hollywood Reporter. You may have heard about 2017's "The Chinese Widow", in which she starred alongside Emile Hirsch.

Fans went straight to the internet to voice out their excitement about the news and celebrated Disney for staying true to the Chinese culture and history. She starred in the Chinese-American 2008 film, The Forbidden Kingdom, alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li and also featured in 2014's Outcast, which starred Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen.

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