Disney casts Chinese actress Liu Yifei for live-action 'Mulan'

Mulan Remake

According to Hollywood Reporter, Liu, also known as Crystal Liu, beat out nearly 1,000 hopefuls to land the role, which requires martial arts skills and English fluency.

The 30-year-old actress first started acting in 2002 with a few small TV roles to start before she landed the main role of Xiaolongnü in the 2006 TV series "The Return of the Condor Heroes".

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For those unfamiliar with the plot of "Mulan", Disney's 1998 animated film is loosely based on the tale of legendary woman warrior Hua Mulan, featured in the sixth-century poem "The Ballad of Mulan".

She was in the 2008 action-fantasy film "The Forbidden Kingdom" with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, as well as 2014's action movie "Outcast" with Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen. Luckily, it seems she has the musical chops to handle all of the songs in Mulan.

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Yifei is also known as Crystal Liu as well as "Fairy Sister" in China - a nickname she got thanks to her angelic appearance and grace. A master of the regal red carpet look, she regularly chooses high-drama pieces that highlight her delicate beauty. Though a longstanding highlight of American animation, Walt Disney's line of princess movies haven't always been what you'd call forward-thinking.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News. The live-action Mulan, directed by Niki Caro and produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner, is set to be released sometime in 2019. News of the film, while cherished by die-hard fans of the animated classic, generated at least some controversy after it was announced that the live-action film would not include singing as had the cartoon version.

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