Disney Releases Its First Picture of Live-Action ‘Mulan’

Mandy Huang
By Mandy Huang
August 14, 2018Entertainment

What does “Mulan” look like in real life? Disney just released the first photo of famous Chinese celebrity Yifei Liu, also known as Crystal Liu, as Mulan, on Twitter on Aug. 13.

“Production has begun on live-action #Mulan!” said the caption.

“Mulan” is now filming in New Zealand and China, according to Deadline.

In the released picture, the new Mulan holds her father’s sword with a fearless and firm look. Liu was selected as the lead after Disney looked at nearly 1,000 Chinese candidates in five continents.

Liu lived in Queens, New York when she was young, so she is fluent in English. She has received some martial arts training and acted in English-speaking movies such as “Forbidden Kingdom” (2008) and “Outcast” (2014). She’s also a singer and has worked as a model for brands including Dior, Tissot, Garnier, and others, according to USA Today.

NTD Photo
Yifei Liu arrives at Dior SS 2016 Repeat Show at the Phoenix International Media Center on December 19, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

There are many other popular Chinese celebrities in the cast list, including Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4, The Shaolin Temple) as the Chinese Emperor, Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Ip Man) as Mulan’s mentor Commander Tung, Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Miami Vice) as a witch, Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).

NTD Photo
Donnie Yen arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures’ ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ at the Chinese Theatre on January 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Mulan is a Chinese folktale in which a young woman joins the Imperial Army in her elderly father’s place to fight the northern invaders, after the country summons one man from each household.

Mulan dons a disguise to hide the fact that she is a young girl, overcomes many different challenges for more than a decade, and emerges as one of China’s greatest heroines. She became respected as a female general because of her filial piety and bravery.

The live-action remake of the 1998 animation “Mulan” is scheduled to be released on Mar. 27, 2020.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.