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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Fans of the Disney animated film Mulan have been patiently waiting to see what direction the studio plans on taking with the film. Early on in the development of the upcoming live-action take on the story, it was rumored that they’d somehow squeeze in a white protagonist that audiences could click with. This led to concerns that they’d whitewash the story.

Disney immediately refuted the claim, and has been adamant about their desire to ensure they’d shoot for an all-Asian cast for the movie.

Now, Variety is reporting that the studio has found their Mulan in Chinese actress Liu Yifei (also known as Crystal Liu). Yifei is likely not known to many American audiences, because the majority of her work has been on Chinese films like Ip Man 3, Outcast, and The Chinese Widow (pictured above).

Given the fact that this movie is set in China, it’s a great move on Disney’s part to double down on the Chinese cast. Here’s hoping they go all out on this approach, and don’t feel compelled to shoehorn in a white character to make audiences feel comfortable.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about taking whatever approach works best from a story standpoint. But given the source material, there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for them to branch out from a Chinese cast, so long as they’re able to act in English.

Mulan is set to be directed by Whale Rider helmer Niki Caro, and is shooting for a potential 2019 release date.

What do you think of this casting decision? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Variety

  • Moby85

    Any reason Disney would “whitewash” Mulan wouldn’t have been over cultural reasons, it would have been to shoehorn in some star power.

  • TheOct8pus

    I wish they had cast Matt Damon

  • David

    I would have cast Ming-Na Wen’s daughter.

  • noahwayne0

    For the role of Li Shang, I hope they cast Chen Bolin – he would be the right age for a romantic lead, plus he speaks English really well.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer’s always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he’s always been something of a story junkie.