The newcomer will star as Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to take her father's army conscription in fifth-century China.
An online petition asking for a Chinese actress to star as Mulan in the upcoming remake reached more than 100,000 signatures before it shut down; the casting of Yifei was a great success. The 1998 film was so well-received by critics and the public, earning USD304 million (RM1.24 billion) worldwide as well as Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.
Sean Bailey, the president of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios, recently said Caro would be taking a "very muscular" approach to the tale, and the director confirmed his comments about her plans for the "girly martial arts epic".
Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been cast to play the female warrior who changed the typical damsel in distress streak in Disney's line of princesses. It is being said that the casting directors from Disney visited five continents and saw almost 1,000 candidates before finalising on Crystal Liu. She's fluent in English and even lived in Queens, New York City, as a kid, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Yifei's previous Hollywood roles include starring alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li in 2008's "The Forbidden Kingdom" and in 2014's "Outcast", where she co-starred with Nicholas Cage. 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.
Disney announced the news yesterday on their blog and the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Sina Weibo.