Disney’s next big movie is its live-action Mulan, which comes to select theatres alongside a paid-for release on Disney Plus this Friday, September 4. The movie features actress Liu Yifei in the lead role, and it’s a role she won amid a massive audition process.
Producer Jason Reed told Deadline that the search to cast Mulan was “unprecedented.” Reed estimated that “tens of thousands” of people tried out for the part before Disney choose Yifei for the role.
“We did this unprecedented global search for an actress to play the role. Tens of thousands, I believe, auditioned around the world. We had scouts going to martial arts schools, dance schools, and performance schools all throughout China,” Reed said. “We had casting offices open in all of the major cities that had significant Chinese populations of working artists, and ultimately Yifei was working on a project in China and she wasn’t initially available. We actually flew over to meet with her and we were smitten.”