Disney reveals first look at live-action version of 'Mulan'

Kimberley Richards
Liu Yifei as Mulan in Disney's new live-action remake: Walt Disney Studios

Disney has unveiled the first image from its much-anticipated live-action Mulan film, showing Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, in the starring role.

Production has started on the remake of the 1998 animated film and will take place in China and New Zealand.

Finding an actress to play Mulan, a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to stop her father from joining the military, involved interviewing nearly 1,000 candidates across five candidates for the role.

The story of the legendary warrior is one of China’s most popular folktales, and is still a part of the curriculum in Chinese schools today.

Disney called the story of Mulan an “epic adventure” with the 1998 version- which was nominated for an Oscar - having gained cult status

“Mulan is the epic adventure of a fearless young woman who masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China,” the film studio said. “The eldest daughter of an honoured warrior, Hua Mulan is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. “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."

Among other actors cast in the film are Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Cheng Pei-pei and Tzi Ma. Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner are producers for the film; Mulan's executive producers include Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Coddington and Bill Kong.

The live-action movie will premiere in theatres March 27 2020.