The Hollywood Reporter reports that a "team of casting directors visited five continents and saw almost 1,000 candidates for the role" looking for a star who could speak English and had martial arts skills.
According to earlier reports, Liu was just one of a thousand actors who Disney considered for the role, in the past Disney execs have been adamant about hiring a Chinese actor for the part of Mulan. Liu has appeared in several English movies including The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Jet Li as well as Outcast, starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen.
In the years since wrapping her TV series, Yifei has gone on to star in many films, both in China and in the United States, which helped prove to Disney that she's a flawless crossover actress.
What do you think about Disney's casting of Liu Yifei as Mulan?
Mulan is based on a Chinese legend about Hua Mulan, a young female warrior who disguises herself as a man in order to join the Chinese military, taking the place of her aging father, to protect her country from the threats they face.
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"The studio and the filmmakers have bent over backwards trying to find someone who checks everyone's boxes, which, as you know, is impossible", the source said. Disney says additional announcements about the live-action movie will be made in the coming weeks.
Directed by Niki Caro and produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner, with Bill Kong serving as executive producer, Disney's live-action "Mulan" is set for a 2019 release and fans of the original film couldn't contain their excitement on Twitter.