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Posted: November 29, 2017

Disney finds its Mulan, casts Liu Yifei in title role

BEIJING, CHINA - APRIL 16:  Actress Liu Yifei arrives at the red carpet of the 7th Beijing International Film Festival on April 16, 2017 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
BEIJING, CHINA - APRIL 16: Actress Liu Yifei arrives at the red carpet of the 7th Beijing International Film Festival on April 16, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Disney’s gotten down to business to cast its Mulan in the upcoming live-action remake.

Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been cast to portray the Chinese heroine, Deadline reported.

The mouse house made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

Casting directors auditioned almost 1,000 actresses in five countries to find an actress with martial arts skills who can speak English and has what the Hollywood Reporter called a “star quality.”

>> Read more trending news

Disney looked specifically for an ethnically Chinese woman to play Mulan, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Liu lived in Queens as a child.

Liu has been on television dramas since the mid-2000s and has been in “The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Outcast” and “The Chinese Widow.”

She has also been a brand ambassador for Dior, Garnier and Pantene, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The story of Mulan was first animated by Disney in 1998 with Ming-Na Wen voicing the daughter who disguised herself to fight in her father’s place in fifth-century China.

The live-action Mulan is slated to hit theaters in 2019 and will combine the original ballad of Hua Mulan with the Disney-created story from 1998, Deadline reported.


Related

Disney seeks Chinese actress for 'Mulan' remake

Disney is searching for a Chinese actress to play the title role in its upcoming live-action version of "Mulan."

>> Read more trending stories  

The film and its animated counterpart are based on a Chinese legend, so producers want to cast a Chinese actress. But that hasn't stopped social media users from voicing their frustration over Disney possibly casting a white actress instead.

Before Disney's casting announcement, almost 105,000 people had signed a petition asking the movie studio to not "whitewash" the film.

Many movie studios have hired white actors to play Asian roles, including Matt Damon's role in "The Great Wall," a historical movie about the Great Wall of China.

Disney cast many Asian actors and actresses to voice roles in the 1998 animated "Mulan" movie.

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." star Ming-Na Wen voiced Mulan, while B.D. Wong, probably best known for his stint on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," voiced Li Shang.

One of the few non-Asian actors in the animated version of "Mulan" was Eddie Murphy, who voiced Mushu the red dragon.

Disney hasn't released any other information about casting choices. The live-action movie is set to hit theaters in November 2018.


            Disney announces next live-action remake; Guy Ritchie set to direct 'Aladdin'

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Disney announces next live-action remake; Guy Ritchie set to direct 'Aladdin'

Disney has given the go-ahead to its next live-action remake and has named a surprising choice as its director.

Disney announced that Guy Ritchie will direct a new version of the hit animated feature film "Aladdin," Deadline reported.

The movie, which centers around a "street rat" redeeming himself after using a genie to win the heart of a princess follows, other cartoon-to-live-action films like "Maleficent," "Cinderella," "The Jungle Book" and "Beauty and the Beast," according to ComingSoon.net.

>> Read more trending stories  

Ritchie is known for the first Robert Downey Jr. "Sherlock Holmes" films. 

Disney released its original "Aladdin" in 1992 with Robin Williams as the voice of Genie. It went on to win two Oscars

There's no word who will take over the role of Genie or who will portray the title character.

"Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson, will hit theaters on March 17. It will be followed by "Mary Poppins Returns," starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt, on Dec. 25, 2018. "Mulan" is scheduled for November 2018. A live-action "The Lion King" has also been announced, with Jon Favreau is set to direct.

"Aladdin" has found new life on Broadway. The show, which opened on March 20, 2014, was nominated for Tony Awards in 2014 for best musical, best performance by an actor in a featured role, best book of a musical, best original score and best choreography. James Monroe Iglehart won best performance by an actor in a featured role for his take on Genie.

Mena Massoud cast as Aladdin in Disney live-action remake

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

Mena Massoud cast as Aladdin in Disney live-action remake

UPDATE: Disney announced the cast for its upcoming live-action remake of “Aladdin” Saturday on Twitter.

Read the original report below.

Guy Ritchie started trying to find his Aladdin in a global casting call in March. So far 2,000 actors and actresses have read for the hero and his love interest Jasmine, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

They’re having a hard time finding a man who is in his 20s who can act and sing who is also either Middle Eastern or Indian, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Production was scheduled for July. 

>> Read more trending news

One star has apparently already signed on for the role of Genie, originally made famous by Robin Williams. Will Smith was in talks on to play the magic man, Deadline reported in April. Ritchie did not confirm or deny the rumor when he was asked in May about Smith’s alleged role, E! News reported. Those in the know at the studio said they’re looking for someone known to play Jafar, the villain, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As for Jasmine, studio sources say two actresses are in the running: Naomi Scott from the recent “Power Rangers” movie and Tara Sutaria. But the final decision won’t happen until the studio gets its Aladdin, according to The Hollywood Reporter..

Disney is eyeing more live-action remakes of its hit movies. This year, “Mary Poppins: Returns” is scheduled to hit the big screen this December. It is being touted as a sequel to the original film. They’re also working on live-action versions of “Mulan,” “The Lion King” and “Dumbo” 

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