'Mulan' live-action Disney reboot finds its star

'Mulan' live-action Disney reboot finds its star

Chinese actress Liu Yifei has been given the tick of approval from Disney fans following accusations of "whitewashing" in Hollywood.

The studio says Wednesday that Chinese actress Liu Yifei, who spent part of her childhood in NY, will play the warrior in the live-action epic from director Niki Caro.

Fans were eagerly waiting to find out who would be playing the main role in Disney's live remake of the 1998 animated movie Mulan and were thrilled to find out Ms Yifei would be playing Chinese heroine Hua Mulan.

Disney announced a year ago that the Mulan reboot would feature an all-Asian cast after fans started a petition to make sure the film is not whitewashed by Hollywood again.

Directed by Niki Caro, the upcoming film is inspired by the Ballad of Mulan, in which a young woman disguises herself as a man to take her father's place in the army, and Disney's 1998 musical adaptation of the poem, which grossed more than US$304 million (RM1.24 billion) worldwide.

Liu is known to many Filipinos as "DaDa" for her role in the 2006 Chinese series "The Return of the Condor Heroes".

One recent example is this year's science-fiction film "Ghost in the Shell", which saw actress Scarlett Johansson in the role of a Japanese character, which drew heavy criticism and demands to boycott the production.

A team of casting directors made a visit to about five continents and saw almost 1,000 candidates for the role, which wanted credible martial arts skills, the talent to speak English and the most indescribable requirement of all: star quality.

According to IMDb, we should plan on heading to the theaters to see "Mulan" in 2019.

Liu, who spent part of her childhood in NY, has starred in both English- and Chinese-language films over the years.