Disney Debuts First Look at Liu Yifei as Mulan in New Live-Action Movie

Liu sports a red outfit while wielding her sword in the official photo released by the studio to mark the start of production on the upcoming film.

AceShowbiz - Disney has unveiled the first official look at Liu Yifei as the title character in its upcoming live-action movie "Mulan". The photo was shared on Monday, August 13 to mark the first day of production on the new take of the 1998 animated musical film.

In the image, the Chinese-American actress wields her sword as if she's ready to fight. She dons a red traditional Chinese robe, while her long black silky hair is let loose.

" 'Mulan' is the epic adventure of a fearless young woman who masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China. The eldest daughter of an honored warrior, Hua Mulan is spirited, determined and quick on her feet," Disney says. "When the emperor issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army, she steps in to take the place of her ailing father as Hua Jun, becoming one of China's greatest warriors ever."

Liu, also known as Crystal Liu, was cast following a year-long search around the world which reportedly included 1000 candidates. Those auditioning for the role had to have martial arts skill, English fluency, star quality and Chinese ehtnicity.

The 30-year-old actress has appeared in Chinese-American films such as "The Forbidden Kingdom" with Jackie Chan, "The Chinese Widow" with Emile Hirsch and "Outcast" opposite Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen. She is also fluent in English, having lived in New York during her childhood and acted in English in the aforementioned films.

"Mulan" will be directed by Niki Caro, who helmed "Whale Rider" and "The Zookeeper's Wife". "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" star Donnie Yen is cast as Commander Tung, a mentor and teacher to the title character.

The film will be exec produced by Bill Kong, the producer of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "House of Flying Daggers". It is set for a March 27, 2020 release in the United States.

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