Lifestyle

Disney reveals the actress playing the fierce warrior lead in Mulan

She seems perfect for the role.

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been announced as the star of Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation of Mulan.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 30-year-old actress scored the legendary warrior lead after the studio went on an exhaustive casting process that involved thousands of auditions and five continents.

The story of Mulan follows the 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.

The new adaption will apparently take inspiration from both the legendary Chinese ballad and the popular 1998 Disney animated film which grossed $304.3 million worldwide, reports Variety.

While it was originally speculated that the male lead of Li Shang could be played by a white actor the studio made an effort to insist that it was only interested in casting ethnically Chinese actors for all the film's main roles.

Liu seems a perfect choice for Hua Milan; she is one of the most popular actresses in China, having appeared in several hit television dramas there; her most recent movie credit is 2017's Once Upon a Time.

The sword-fighting and martial arts element of the role also shouldn't be a problem for Liu, who has starred in action films in the past. And she's an accomplished singer, having released two albums in Asia so it's expected she'll nail the singing in the film.

The live-action Mulan is being spearheaded by female director Niki Caro; the New Zealander's previous films include Whale Rider and The Zookeeper's Wife.

Filming is reportedly expected to start next year for a 2019 release.