« Tap to Next Article »

Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Has Finally Found Its Heroine

Here's what you need to know about Liu Yifei, one of China's biggest stars.

Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Has Finally Found Its Heroine
Getty | Disney

After a yearlong search, Disney's live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated film Mulan has finally found its titular hero.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to fill the role of the young warrior who disguises herself as a man to take the place of her father in the army. Niki Caro, who recently helmed The Zookeeper's Wife, will direct the film. Disney is aiming for a 2019 release.

Last year, the film drew criticism after an early draft of the script was reported to feature a white male lead instead of Mulan as the star of her own film. Whatever the case was, it looks like Disney has wised up (for now). 

So who is Liu Yifei? The 30-year-old actress is already a huge star in China. And, with the news of her casting as Mulan, we'll undoubtably be seeing more of her in the year to come. Here are some fast facts about the actress to get you up to speed: 

1. Her big break came after appearing in several TV dramas in the mid-2000s including The Story of a Noble FamilyDemi-Gods and Semi-Devils, and Chinese Paladin

2. She's appeared in films like The Forbidden Kingdom alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li, Outcast with Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen, and Ip Man 3. More recently, she starred opposite Emile Hirsch in the period romance, The Chinese Window, and in the fantasy romance Once Upon a Time, which earned $82.3 million in China this summer. 

3. Her role in the 2012 Chinese historical film, The Assassins, earned her Best Actress at the 5th Macau International Movie Festival.

4. She's nicknamed "Fairy Sister" by the Chinese public because of her innocent looks. She's also served as a brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier, and Pantene. 


5. And, yes, she sings: 

View Liu Yifei Pictures »