Folks, we’ve been getting movement on the live-action Lilo & Stitch since just after Elvis came to theaters. Coincidence? Marcel the Shell With Shoes On director Dean Fleischer Camp has been tapped to direct, according to Deadline. So the burden of making a live-action Stitch — who must somehow be believable as both blue dog and alien — lies with him. Jon M. Chu was in talks to direct in 2020. Originally, it was reported that horror writer Mike Van Waes would pen the script, but now Chris Kekaniokalani Bright will be writing it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Sanders, is in final talks to return as the voice of Stitch. Acting opposite the inevitably monstrous CG alien will be Courtney B. Vance, per The Hollywood Reporter. He will reportedly star as sunglasses-wearing social worker and former CIA agent Cobra Bubbles, and joins previously-announced cast member Zach Galifianakis. “But Vulture, who is he playing?” you ask. It’s not announced yet! He’s just … going to be in it … in some capacity. If you’re a betting person, place your money on Galifianakis playing Jumba, but, if you’re playing with house money, it would be funny if this big announcement was just for him to cameo as the ice-cream-dropping tourist.
While we’re still in the dark about Galifianakis’s role, The Hollywood Reporter shared that the film has found the girl who will bite Mertle: Hawaiian actress Maia Kealoha will be making her film debut as Lilo. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sydney Elizebeth Agudong will play Lilo’s big sis/legal guardian Nani. Kahiau Machado was originally slated to play Nani’s love interest, David Kawena. Reportedly, however, after his past use of racial slurs on social media resurfaced, the part will now be played by Kaipot Dudoit. Tia Carrere, the original voice of Nani, will star as new character Mrs. Kekoa, while Amy Hill will star as new character Tūtū.
The OG L&S followed Experiment 626 (a.k.a. Stitch) as he fled the scientist who made him, got adopted by a girl in Hawaii, and fell for the stylings of Elvis. It also showed us all the meaning of ohana and taught Disney the meaning of toyetic. In the aughts, Stitch merch seemed like the backbone of the American economy. The little dude was everywhere: TP-ing Cinderella’s castle, getting a TV-show spinoff, and becoming big in Japan. The adaptation will be released directly to Disney+. Lilo & Stitch is the latest Disney classic to get the live-action treatment, something of a reimagining of the old Disney Vault model. Rather than rerelease Disney films every few years, why not completely remake them?
This post has been updated.