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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Weekend
Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Finds Its Star
    2017-December-1  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AFTER a yearlong worldwide search, Mulan has been found.

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to star as the title woman warrior in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic Chinese tale.

A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, which requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and the most ineffable requirement of all: star quality. In deference to cultural accuracy, the studio focused on locating an ethnically Chinese young woman to play Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s army conscription in fifth-century China.

In Liu, Disney found the complete package. Nicknamed “Fairy Sister” by the Chinese public for her pure and innocent looks and image, she has been one of the country’s most popular actresses of the current generation since breaking out with a series of hit television dramas in the mid-2000s, while she was still a teenager enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy. She is fluent in English, having lived in Queens, N.Y., for part of her childhood, and acted in English in both 2008’s “The Forbidden Kingdom,” alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and 2014’s “Outcast,” opposite Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen. She also starred opposite Emile Hirsch in Danish auteur Bille August’s period romance “The Chinese Widow,” which opened the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.

Liu, who has served as a brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier and Pantene, most recently starred in the fantasy romance “Once Upon a Time,” which earned US$82.3 million in China this summer. Her other credits include 2012’s “The Assassins,” which earned Liu her first major acting award (at the Macao International Movie Festival), “Never Gone” and “The Four” trilogy. She recently signed with WME and continues to be represented by Chinese manager David Chen.

“Mulan” tells the story of the legend of warrior Hua who disguises herself as a man to fight in the army to spare her weak father from conscription.

Disney’s announcement on its blog about Liu’s casting was met with delight online on Twitter as well as on Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging network.

Many online celebrated it as a win for diversity in Disney films.

Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Mulan in the original animated movie, also gave her stamp of approval.

“Congrats to #LiuYiFei ! Great choice for live action #Mulan!” she tweeted.

Chinese netizens congratulated Liu, with many praising Disney’s choice. “She completely fits the role,” said one commenter, while another said: “Needs to know martial arts, can also speak English, have star quality — it definitely should be Liu Yifei.”

The film has been under intense scrutiny since it was announced that Disney intended to remake Mulan as a live-action film.

An online petition calling for an Asian actress in the role attracted more than 100,000 signatures before it was shut Thursday, claiming success in its campaign with Liu’s casting.

Earlier this year, British actor Ed Skrein, who was cast as an Asian character in the upcoming “Hellboy” reboot, pulled out of the film so that the role could be “cast appropriately.” It then went to Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim.

Niki Caro, who most recently helmed “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” is directing Disney’s live-action “Mulan,” which is produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner and eyeing a 2019 release.

The film will be exec produced by Bill Kong, the producer of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “House of Flying Daggers.” Previously, Ang Lee was offered to take the director position, but the Oscar-winning director passed on the offer.

The 1998 animated version, voice-starring Wen alongside Eddie Murphy and B.D. Wong, earned US$304.3 million worldwide as well as Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.

(SD-Agencies)

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