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Chinese actress Crystal Liu will star in Disney's live action adaptation of 'Mulan'. (AP Photo/ Jim Cooper)
The Walt Disney Studios has announced its pick for lead actress in the live action adaptation of its Mulan animated film, and the choice is already stirring up controversy in China.

华特迪士尼工作室公布了其真人版《花木兰》电影的女主角,这个选择引起了中国国内的争议。

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, who also goes by the name Crystal Liu, will play the title role of Mulan in the new film, which has been in on-again, off-again, on-again development for years. Western moviegoers may remember Liu for her small role as the character Golden Sparrow in the Jackie Chan and Jet Li-starring 2008 martial arts hit The Forbidden Kingdom.

中国女演员刘亦菲在影片中扮演这部新电影的同名角色花木兰,该电影的发展计划已经断断续续拖了多年。西方电影观众可能记得刘亦菲扮演的金燕子,这是2008年成龙和李连杰主演的功夫电影《功夫之王》里的一个角色。

Chinese moviegoers, who have had far more exposure to the actress via the dozens of movies in which she has appeared, are mixed in their reactions.

由于她出演过几十部电影,中国电影观众对这位女演员要熟悉得多,他们对此事有着各种各样的反应。

“Oh, Disney you fail!,” says a social media commenter who goes by the handle Olive Skywalker on the boxofficetheory.com website. “She is the most famous box office poison in China and sucks in acting.”

一位昵称为奥利芙天行者的社交媒体用户在boxofficetheory.com网站上评论道:“呃,这下迪士尼惨了,她是中国最著名的票房毒药,演技也很渣”

Another commenter, who goes by the tag TigerPaw, added his opinion that Liu is the “2nd worst choice. The worst will be Jing Tian (the wooden female lead in Legendary’s The Great Wall) – she can't act and [has to] use her backing to get roles. Liu Yi Fei is bad, but it could have been worse.”

另一位昵称为虎爪的用户发表意见说,刘亦菲是“第二差的选择。最差的是景甜(电影《长城》里的呆板女主角)——她不会演戏,要靠背景才能获得角色。刘亦菲很差,但还不是最差的”。

Not everyone is so opposed to the choice. A commenter by the name of UserHN wrote: “I just remembered watching her in Love of the Condor Heroes. She seems fine. And she's so beautiful.”

并非所有人都反对这个选择。一位名叫UserHN的用户写道:“我只记得在《射雕英雄传》看过她,看起来还不错。她好漂亮”。

Another, Barnack, noted that “I’m not so sure it is wise to take the words of people on the Internet over a corporation like Disney that bought serious world marketing expert studies, they would have not hired box office poison, especially if she cannot act, that make little sense.”

另一位叫巴纳克的用户说:“听网络上的人对迪士尼这样的公司评论,我不太确定这是不是明智,这个公司购买了世界市场专家的研究数据,他们不会请票房毒药演戏的,尤其是如果她演技很烂的话。这样看来就说得通了”。

In fairness to Liu, her box office track record in China hasn't been terrible, but it has been mixed. She has appeared in leading roles in such hit films as the action franchise The Four and Once Upon a Time, and also in some box office duds like Outcast (2014) opposite Hayden Christensen and Nicholas Cage, and Love in Disguise (演员, 2010) with Lee-Hom Wang.

公平的讲,刘亦菲在中国的票房记录不算差,但是忽好忽坏。她在动作类电影如《四大名捕》和《三生三世十里桃花》里出演过主角,也主演过一些渣片,如:2014年与海登.克里斯滕森及尼古拉斯.凯奇联袂主演的《白幽灵传奇之绝命逃亡》,以及2010年与王力宏主演的《演员》。

I reached out to representatives for the film and received a solidly positive argument for the choice from a source who is close to the production. This individual, who asked that I refrain from mentioning their name, told me, “The studio and the filmmakers have bent over backwards trying to find someone who checks everyone’s boxes, which, as you know, is impossible. The Chinese partners supported her and ultimately the decision was made based on the quality of the performance. I hope that people are able to step back and judge the movie as a whole when it is finished.”

笔者联系过这部电影的负责人,对于这个选择,其中一位与制片人相识的熟人给出了一个肯定积极的理由,他让笔者不要提及他们的名字,他说:“工作室和制片方竭尽全力试图找到一个调查每位演员票房的人,正如你知道的,这是不可能的。中国的合资方支持让她演,但最终是根据演技做出选择的。我希望人们能先退一步,等电影上映了再做评论”

The source added, “That’s too bad [about the comments from China]. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from the rest of the world, especially in the U.S. Bill Kong (producer of megahits Monster Hunt and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) thought she was a good choice and most importantly she gave an excellent audition and is very committed to the extensive amount of training we are requiring. [The producers] watched hundreds of tapes and at the end of the day she won this role by working hard and delivering a great audition.”

他还说:“那太糟糕了(关于中国人对此事的评论)。在世界其他地方反响普遍很好,特别是在美国。江志强(两部极其成功的电影《捉妖记》和《卧虎藏龙》的制片人)认为刘亦菲是个不错的选择,最重要的是,她在试镜中很出色,也很用心投入到我们要求的大量训练。(制片人)观看了数百段视频,最终把这个角色给了她,因为她很勤奋,并且试镜也很出色”。

Of course, Disney is looking to appeal not just to audiences in China, but around the world too. China now commands 20% of the global box office pie, an enormous increase from the 1.7 percent share it had just a decade ago.

当然,迪士尼想要的不只是吸引中国观众,还想吸引全世界的观众。中国现在占全球票房总收入的20%,相比10年前的1.7%,其增长是巨大的。

Chinese fans are already speculating about who will play the lead male role opposite Crystal Liu, with such names as Kris Wu (Wu Yifan), Eddie Peng and Jing Boran being bandied about to both cheers and jeers from those familiar with their prior work.
Mulan is the latest in a succession of Disney's live-action reboots of its classic animated films, which have included Maleficent, The Jungle Book, and this year's blockbuster hit Beauty and the Beast, the highest-grossing Hollywood movie of 2017. The picture is being directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, The Zookeeper's Wife) and produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner. Disney plans to release the film in theaters on an as yet unspecified date in 2019.

中国的影迷已经在预测谁会与刘亦菲搭档,出演男主角。吴亦凡、彭于晏和井柏然这几位明星的名字都有被提及,熟悉他们作品的人中,有为他们叫好的,也有嘲笑他们的。迪士尼接二连三地把其经典动画电影翻拍成真人版,包括《沉睡魔咒》、《森林王子》、以及今年轰动一时的《美女与野兽》,这是2017年票房最高的好莱坞电影,《花木兰》是最新要翻拍的一部。该影片的导演是妮基.卡罗(《鲸骑士》和《动物园长的夫人》的导演),制片人是克里斯.本德,詹森.雷德和杰克.韦纳。迪士尼打算在2019年某个时间上映该影片。