After a long an gruelling search, Disney has finally found who will be playing the part of Mulan in the upcoming live action film. The star will be Liu Yifei, an actress who is extremely famous in China for the hit TV series, The Return of the Condor Heroes.
Her appearance of innocence and beauty captured hearts and she went on to star in 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom. The latter also starred the world famous Jackie Chan and Jet Li. More recently, Liu Yifei starred in Once Upon A Time just last year, a fantasy romance that showed off how dynamic her performances can be. Though her first acting award came with 2012’s The Assassins.
Disney’s long search included over 1,000 candidates world wide, though focused on anyone ethnically Chinese that had some skill in martial arts, spoke English, and stunning enough to be a Disney princess. Looks are everything, after all.
The live action version of Mulan will be directed by Niki Caro, who is known for her work on Whale Rider and The Zookeeper’s Wife. Emotional stories certainly seem to be where Caro shines and hopefully that will translate into a a deeper and more moving re-telling of Mulan’s story. Much can be read into the original 1998 version, but a live action version can be so much more if done correctly.
That said, with the live action Beauty and the Beast being a carbon copy of the animated version, with a few changes that were entirely unwelcome, hopes are not high for Mulan either.
If you’d like a live action version that is far more thrilling and full of intrigue, I highly recommend Hua Mulan from 2009. It’s a Chinese made movie and stays true to the ancient poem the story based on.
Nonetheless, let’s hope Liu Yifei’s singing skills are on par with Lea Salonga’s (the singing voice of Mulan for the animated version). We don’t need another disaster like Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast.
What changes do you hope to see in Disney’s live action Mulan? Do you think they will make another carbon copy?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter