According to Variety, Chinese actress Liu Yifei has been cast as the lead in director Niki Caro’s live-action remake of Disney’s Mulan, finally ending an exhaustive search for the studio that apparently involved thousands of auditions and trips to multiple continents. The Variety story says Yifei will be playing a woman in fifth-century China who disguises herself as a man so she can take her father’s place in the military, which is the standard Mulan story, but it also says her name will be Hua Mulan instead of Fa Mulan—replacing the name of the Disney character with that of the actual historical figure she was based on. It might not mean anything, but it is a minor change from the original animated movie.
Disney had a similarly difficult time finding stars for its live-action Aladdin, meeting with 2,000 people for the lead roles before landing on Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. Also, lest we forget, Mike Pence once wrote a scathing review of the original Mulan’s insidious message of female empowerment, which seems less funny now that it did last July for some reason.