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Disney's Live-Action Lilo & Stitch Remake Reportedly Finds Its Lilo

MovieWeb 3/31/2023 Jeremy Dick
© Provided by MovieWeb

A live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch is currently in the works at Disney, and it appears that the movie has found one of its titular leads. Per a new report from Knight Edge Media, newcomer Maia Kealoha has been cast in the part. While Kealoha has not appeared in any feature films prior to this reported casting, it's noted in the report how she was recently featured in Little Miss Kona Coffee pageants. Though the casting hasn't been officially announced by Disney, Kealoha and executive producer Ryan Halprin follow each other on Instagram, lending credence to the news.

It was recently reported by THR that Zach Galifianakis also joined the project as the live-action version of Pleakley. Meanwhile, the Stitch character will likely be animated, and it's mentioned in the new report from Knight Edge Media that Chris Sanders might return to voice the character after doing so in the original film. Auli'i Cravalho was also reported to be up for the role of Lilo's sister, Nani, but was unable to sign on due to scheduling conflicts.

In any case, it would appear that the cast is slowly coming together after the film has spent the past few years in development hell. Word of Lilo & Stitch getting the live-action treatment goes back to 2018, originally with Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) on board to direct. Last year, an update on the project revealed that Chu had since departed with Dean Fleischer Camp (Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) coming in to replace him. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are producing.

Related: Zach Galifianakis Joins Disney's Live-Action Lilo & Stitch Remake

Lilo & Stitch Gets the Live-Action Treatment

Chris Sanders co-wrote and co-directed the original 2002 version of Lilo & Stitch alongside Dean DeBlois. While Sanders voiced Stitch, Daveigh Chase provided the voice of Lilo. The voice cast also included Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Zoe Caldwell, and Kevin Michael Richardson. The film follows a young Hawaiian girl who befriends an extraterrestrial creature she nicknames Stitch. Though genetically engineered to create chaos, Lilo's love helps Stitch reconsider his ways and find a new purpose in life with his newfound family.

The movie was previously given three direct-to-video sequels released between 2003 and 2006, though they featured a different voice cast. The film has also inspired the animated adaptation Lilo & Stitch: The Series, which consisted of two seasons. Given the immense financial success that Disney has seen with other live-action remakes, it was a matter of time before the Lilo & Stitch franchise would venture into that territory as well.

A release date hasn't yet been set for the Lilo & Stitch live-action remake.

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