Crystal Liu has been cast in the lead role in Disney’s planned live-action Mulan movie. The Hollywood Reporter reports the news that casting directors had visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role of Hua Mulan, the young woman who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s army conscription in 5th century China.
According to the trade, the casting directors were looking for an actress with ‘incredible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and the most ineffable requirement of all: star quality.’
Here’s the official synopsis of the Disney animation.
Fearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) takes his spot — though, as a girl living under a patriarchal regime, she is technically unqualified to serve. She cleverly impersonates a man and goes off to train with fellow recruits. Accompanied by her dragon, Mushu (Eddie Murphy), she uses her smarts to help ward off a Hun invasion, falling in love with a dashing captain along the way.
Niki Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife) is directing the Mulan movie at Disney, which is set for release in 2019. The original 1990s animated movie grossed $304.3 million worldwide.