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American films

See Disney’s live-action for the first time as Disney releases official photo of actress Liu Yifei

Walt Disney Studios tweeted the first image of Liu Yifei as the famed Chinese heroine for the live-action Mulan on Monday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2018, 1:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2018, 5:24am

The warrior Mulan has been revealed in impressive fighting style. Walt Disney Studios tweeted the first image of Liu Yifei as the famed Chinese heroine for the live-action Mulan on Monday, announcing production had begun for the anticipated film.

The new Mulan, directed by Niki Caro with a March 27, 2020 release date, is inspired by both the legendary Chinese ballad and the popular 1998 Disney animated film.

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The film follows Hua Mulan, the fearless young daughter of aged warrior Fa Zhou, who impersonates a man to take her father’s place during a Hun invasion and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines.

Liu (also known as Crystal Liu) was announced for the lead role in November, following a year-long search of five continents that looked at nearly 1,000 candidates. The part requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and star quality.

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In deference to cultural accuracy, the studio entirely focused its search on an ethnically Chinese young woman.

Liu is fluent in English, having lived in Queens, New York, for part of her childhood. The model and actress had English-speaking roles in both 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom, alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and 2014’s Outcast, opposite Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen.

She has served as a brand ambassador for fashion houses Dior, Tissot, Garnier and Pantene.

Joining Liu in Mulan is Star Wars: Rogue One stand-out and Ip Man lead Donnie Yen as the warrior’s mentor, Commander Tung. Jason Scott Lee stars as the villainous warrior Bori Khan.

Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Raise the Red Lantern) will portray a villainous witch and Jet Li (Shaolin Temple, Lethal Weapon 4) stars as The Emperor who calls up the troops.

Filming will take place in New Zealand and China.