Liu Yifei: Warrior Sister
One of China’s sweethearts – a popular artiste since her teens – will soon gain wider recognition headlining Disney’s live-action Mulan.
She’s an actress, model and singer who can speak English fluently.
She had to beat out 1,000 other hopefuls to get cast as Hua Mulan in Disney’s new live-action extravaganza. Judging by the film’s trailers, Chinese-American star Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, certainly looks the part with her cool demeanour and assured swordplay.
Born in China and an American citizen from having lived in New York during her formative years, Liu had a breakthrough at 16 when she was cast as Wang Yuyan in a Chinese TV series based on novelist Louis Cha’s Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils.
True to her sweet image, she later played Xiaolongnu in another adaptation, The Return of the Condor Heroes, and Xiaoqian in the 2011 remake of A Chinese Ghost Story.
Nicknamed “Fairy Sister” by her fans, she will soon be reunited onscreen in Mulan with Jet Li, whom she starred opposite in the 2008 film The Forbidden Kingdom.
And if Mulan is the hit that the world expects from Disney, one of China’s best-kept secrets will soon have admirers from far beyond Asia.
More About Mulan
66 million – The number of fans Liu Yifei has on Chinese social media platform Weibo
>US$300 million – The global box-office takings of Disney’s 1998 animated Mulan
2 – The number of vocal talents behind the titular character Mulan in that film: Actress Ming-Na Wen voiced the heroine while stage star Lea Salonga provided singing vocals
1991 – The year a crater on the surface of Venus was named after Hua Mulan
Out: 26 Mar
Stars: Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jet Li
Disney’s live-action remake of its own modern animated classic of the same name retells the tale inspired by a Chinese legend. A strong-willed girl named Hua Mulan (Liu) learns that her aged father is being compelled to fight as war breaks out. Heartbroken at the prospect, she takes matters into her own hands and disguises herself as a man, taking her father’s place in the army and setting herself up for the biggest challenge of her life.
Out: 5 Mar
Stars: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
A pair of teenage elf brothers – living in the mundane suburbia of a world very much like ours, complete with cars and mobile phones – are thrilled to discover their long-lost father was a magician. Ian (Holland) and Barley (Pratt) attempt to use the magical staff he bequeathed them to cast a spell and bring him back. However, things go wrong for the amateur magicians, who must go on a quest or facing losing their father once more.
A Quiet Place: Part II
Out: 19 Mar
Stars: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
This sequel to the sleeper hit of 2018, A Quiet Place, follows the horrific events of that film. After discovering the weakness of the strange creatures that have decimated the world’s population and attacked her family, Evelyn (Blunt) is determined to keep her children (Simmonds, Jupe) and newborn baby alive. As they venture into the barren landscape, they meet other survivors and discover fresh threats to their survival.
No Time To Die
Stars: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek
Years after the events of Spectre, which ends with super agent James Bond (Craig) driving away with his latest lady love, Madeleine Swann (Seydoux), Bond is now retired former agent 007. His peaceful existence is interrupted by an old friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter, who enlists his help to find a missing scientist. Thrust back into danger and intrigue, Bond meets a new adversary (Malek) and is forced to confront the possibility that Swann has not been entirely truthful.
The Secret Garden
Out: 23 Apr
Stars: Dixie Egerickx, Colin Firth, Julie Walters
Mary, a child from a privileged background, is orphaned and sent to live at the manor of an uncle (Firth) whom she has never met. A morose widower, the uncle wants little to do with his new charge. Meanwhile, Mary finds new meaning in her life when she learns about a secret garden on his estate. She also discovers the secrets hidden within the big house and unexpectedly gains companions in her quest to find the garden.
The Plot Against America
Out: 17 Mar, HBO GO
Stars: Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, John Turturro
Based on the alternate history novel of the same name by acclaimed author Philip Roth, this miniseries sees, through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family, an America that does not re-elect incumbent President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. Instead, aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, who has anti-war views and has publicly praised Adolf Hitler, defeats Roosevelt and pushes the country toward fascism within its own borders.