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MOVIES: Mulan - News Roundup *Updated 29th November 2017*



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29th November 2017 - Liu Yifei to Star

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 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.

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.



14th February 2017 - Niki Caro to Direct

Niki Caro, who broke through with the 2002 Maori family drama Whale Rider, will direct Disney’s live-action Mulan, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

In an industry where female-helmed tentpoles are still rare, Caro will be the second woman at the studio to direct a movie budgeted at over $100 million. (Ava DuVernay is the first, with A Wrinkle in Time.)

Caro’s most recent film, Focus’ upcoming The Zookeeper’s Wife, has been praised for its gender-inclusive set by its star, Jessica Chastain.




  • 15th November 2016 - Casting Call Released For Mulan and New Love Interest
    Mulan: 18 – 20 years old to play 18; must be able to speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese; lithe, athletic, quick, tougher than she looks, Mulan lives in rural China in 630 AD, and her country is besieged, under attack by the Gokturk invaders. When her aging father volunteers to join the Army, Mulan sneaks out by night and takes his place, strapping down her breasts so she can pass for a man. There is a mysterious power inside Mulan, a power of speed and coordination and sheer force that places her at the peak of her unit- where no one suspects her secret.

    Chen Honghui – In his 20s, must be able to speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese; strapping, cocky and handsome, Honghui is another recruit who joins Commander Tung’s unit, and he’s determined to be the best soldier in human history. Full of himself, with a mean, bullying stream to him, he quickly realizes that Mulan is his chief rival, but he does not realize that she is a woman. Grittily determined to be simply the best at everything, Honghui is increasingly peeved by Mulan’s ability to match or out-maneuver him. But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love.

  • 4th October 2016 - Disney Announces Winter 2018 Release Date
    Disney's live-action retelling of the classic animated hit Mulan is a go.

    The movie, which is being fast-tracked, will hit theaters Nov. 2, 2018, and be released in 3D, the studio announced Tuesday.

    Disney is launching a global casting search for a Chinese actress to play Mulan.

    The news that the studio is turning its 1998 animated hit into a live-action title comes after such successes as Maleficent, The Jungle Book and Cinderella, among other titles. And Disney is currently gearing up for the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast, which opens March 17 and is expected to be one of the top-grossing titles of 2017.

    The studio also announced that Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurassic World) were brought aboard to rewrite a spec script for Mulan that Disney bought in 2015. Jaffa and Silver also are working on the Avatar sequel.

    The Disney team saw the spec, by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, as a jumping-off point for a more nuanced and elaborate adaptation, combining the legendary Chinese ballad and the 1998 animated film.

    A director for Mulan has yet to be announced. Jason Reed is attached to produce along with Chris Bender and Jake Weiner.

  • 30th March 2015 - Live-Action Remake in Development
    On the heels of the magical success of Disney's live-action Cinderella, the studio is eyeing another live-action retelling: Mulan.

    Disney bought a script by writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney's 1998 animated film.

    Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We're the Millers) are producing the new project vie their banner Benderspink with Jake Weiner.

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