'Mulan' live-action Disney reboot finds its star

Liu Yifei
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

By Justin Kroll

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to star in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic Chinese tale Mulan.

Niki Caro is directing, and the pic is produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner.

The movie’s makers are eyeing a 2019 release. The English-language version of the original Mulan (1998) featured the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer, and BD Wong, while Jackie Chan provided his voice for Chinese dubs of the movie. It grossed $304 million worldwide.

Jurassic World and Avatar sequel scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver came on board in 2015 to rewrite the spec by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin.

As it searched for the film’s star, the studio was determined that the actress be Chinese, and thousands of hopefuls were seen before Liu was selected. The newcomer will star as Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s army conscription in fifth-century China.