Last year, Disney announced that it was searching for Chinese actors to play the roles in the live-action adaptation of Mulan. Not only are they searching for someone with Chinese heritage, the casting call required someone who “must be able to speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese.” The search is over because they finally found the actress who will play the titular role!
Meet Liu Yifei, popularly known as Crystal Liu. She’s a Chinese actor who has starred in other martial arts films, like The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
She’s also very beautiful as she’s been selected to endorse brands like Dior, Pantene, and Garnier.
Fans have express support for Liu, following news of whitewashing in Hollywood. In the past, films have selected white actors to play Asian roles, like Scarlett Johansson as Major in Ghost in the Shell, Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan in Prince of Persia, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in Pan, and many more.
Disney seemed to take note of the backlash, as it has cast people of color (POC) to play POC roles. Apart from getting Liu to play Mulan, they have cast Middle Eastern and African actors to play roles in the live-action adaptation of Aladdin, and a largely black cast to play roles in the live-action adaptation of The Lion King.
The story of Mulan is based on the legend of Hua Mulan, a Chinese warrior from the Southern and Northern Dynasties period (420–589), who took the place of her aging father in the army. She helps defend China from invaders, and instead of accepting an official post, she returns home to her family.
The story was adapted by Disney in 1998, which received critical and commercial success. Rotten Tomatoes described it as “Exploring themes of family duty and honor, Mulan breaks new ground as a Disney film, while still bringing vibrant animation and sprightly characters to the screen.”
The live action adaptation of Mulan is set to be released on November 2, 2018.
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