Internet's reaction to Disney's casting of live-action Mulan is the best

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Susan Devaney
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Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, will play the badass character of Mulan in the new live-action remake. 

After a worldwide search, actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has been cast as the feminist Disney character Mulan in the live-action remake.

The film – due to be released next year – is an adaptation of the 1998 film following the story of heroine Hua Mulan, the warrior who disguises herself as a man to fight to help her father.

Yifei, whose nickname is apparently ‘Fairy Sister’, was chosen from 1,000 candidates, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Chinese actress has previously starred in films such as The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and Outcast, the 2014 film with Hayden Christensen.

And the casting decision has been viewed as a victory for Asian actors. When the remake was first announced people were concerned the Disney remake would fall into the all too familiar category of selecting a white actor to play an Asian role - with more than 112,000 people signing a petition urging an Asian actor to play the lead. 

Hollywood has previously received criticism for whitewashing: Tilda Swinton playing The Ancient One in Doctor Strange and Scarlett Johansson taking the lead in The Ghost in the Shell, a role that was originally Japanese. And the Chinese epic, The Great Wall, which witnessed Matt Damon taking the lead. 

Liu Yifei starring in The Forbidden Kingdom in 2008. 

Directed by Niki Caro, the remake will witness the fourth woman in history to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million (£70 million). Unlike the 1998 version, no songs will feature within the film. 

Disney, having made the announcement on their blog, has sent people on social media into a frenzy:

“Crying tears of happiness over this casting decision,” one user wrote. 

“It’s official! Meet Disney’s Mulan. This is a huge step for representation,” another user wrote. 

“I think we’re all just happy and a little bit relieved that Disney cast an actual Chinese actress to play Mulan,” another user posted.

Personally, we can’t wait!

Images: Rex Features / Twitter


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.