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Disney’s live-action ‘Mulan’ finds its leading lady

Charmaine Blake

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Liu Yifei at the 7th Beijing International Film Festival in 2017.

Image: Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

Meet the next new Disney heroine.

The studio’s making progress on its live-action remake of Mulan, and it’s finally found a star to fill the title role: Chinese actress Liu Yifei.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Liu won the role after an epic search that involved almost a thousand candidates from five continents. 

Liu (who is also known as Crystal Liu) may not be a familiar face to most Americans yet. But she’s a big star in her native country, having launched her career in the mid-2000s when she was just a teenager. 

She’s also made a few forays into English-language work, including 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom and 2014’s Outcast

Mulan is being directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider) for release on November 2, 2018 – which, we’ll point out, isn’t really that far away at this point. 

Meaning: You can keep your eyes peeled for lots more Mulan news in the coming weeks.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/29/disney-mulan-casting-liu-yifei/

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‘Logan’ director James Mangold said to take on Boba Fett spinoff

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Image: Lucasfilm

Fan favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett may finally be getting his own movie, if a new report is to be believed.

James Mangold has just been set to write and direct a spinoff about the Star Wars bounty hunter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mangold’s recent credits include Logan and The Wolverine.

The news comes just as another character-centric Star Wars spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story, hits theaters. 

Han Solo and Boba Fett aren’t the only Star Wars characters embarking on standalone adventures. Lucasfilm allegedly has a number of unofficial spinoff projects in development, including a movie about Obi-Wan Kenobi that reportedly has Stephen Daldry in talks to direct. 

The possibility of a Boba Fett movie has been swirling for some time now. A number of reports have said the bounty hunter was the subject of the film that director Josh Trank was working on — until Lucasfilm fired him after his antics on the set of Fantastic Four

More recently, Simon Kinberg was rumored to be producing a Boba Fett project. It’s unclear if he’s involved with Mangold’s film. 

No official confirmation or release date has been announced for the Boba Fett film, and no plot details were revealed in the report.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/05/24/boba-fett-spinoff-star-wars/

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Jake Gyllenhaal Set To Star As Villain In ‘Spider-Man’ Sequel

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Despite not being named Chris, actor Jake Gyllenhaal is a famous white guy with a jawline, so it was only a matter of time before he ended up in a superhero movie.

While he’s resisted the allure of tights and a cape for years, reports are now circulating that the Oscar nominee is in talks to star as the villain in the already announced sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” according to Variety.

Gyllenhaal will reportedly play Mysterio, a big bad who’s been a pain in Spidey’s side throughout comic book history. His most well-known alter-ego is Quentin Beck, a special effects expert turned supervillain who manipulates reality to disarm his foes.

While the fate of everybody’s favorite web slinger was left up in the air after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War,” we know he’ll live another day in the next film in the franchise alongside Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Michael Keaton as Vulture.

Jon Watts will also return as director with Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley writing the script.

Gyllenhaal has flirted with the superhero universe once before, as he was close to replacing the original Spider-Man, aka Toby Maguire, after the actor’s injury on the set of “Seabiscuit.” Alas, it was not meant to be and Maguire returned for two more sequels and Gyllenhaal went on star in “Brokeback Mountain.”

But don’t let his serious dramatic pedigree fool you. Gyllenhaal has always been a fan of the genre, even as his tastes have skewed further away from blockbuster fare.

“Superhero movies have inspired me. I remember when I saw ’Thor” I was really inspired,” he said at SXSW in 2016. “There’s a reason for myth. They are so moving and so important.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jake-gyllenhaal-set-to-star-as-villain-in-spider-man-sequel_us_5b02fbaae4b07309e05afde7

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‘American Animals’ is a based-on-a-true-story crime drama with a documentary twist

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American Animals stars Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson as four college kids who plot to steal a priceless book.

It also features Warren Lipka, Spencer Reinhard, Chas Allen, and Eric Borsuk – the lead characters’ real-life counterparts, and the people who actually perpetrated that heist.

That documentary element sets American Animals apart from your typical Hollywood crime drama, reminding us that, as director Bart Layton puts it, “these are real people, these are real decisions, there are real consequences.”

The real guys add new context to everything we’re seeing, questioning and commenting on the proceedings with the hard-won benefit of hindsight.

Whether these talking heads actually do make for a “more interesting film,” as Layton promises, is up to us to decide.

But they’ve definitely got us eager to find out. Count that as a win.

American Animals is in theaters starting June 1.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/05/17/american-animals-exclusive-trailer/

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