Chris Sanders is in final negotiations to voice the character of Stitch in the Disney live-action Lilo & Stitch, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Tia Carrere, who originally voiced Nani in the first film, will also play the new Mrs. Kekoa, while Amy Hill will star as a new character named Tūtū.
Sanders, who wrote and directed the original feature alongside Dean DeBlois, voiced the creature, which he also created, in 2002 Lilo & Stitchas well as Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006). Sanders has been rumored to return as Stitch for years, but in a 2022 interview with Yarn SYFYhe said he had not been officially approached by the studio.
Newcomer Maia Kealoha plays Lilo, while Sydney Elizebeth Agudong plays Nani. Kahiau Machado was cast as David Kawena last week, but has since been recast with Kaipot Dudoit. During Disney’s vetting process, previous posts in which the actor used racial slurs were discovered on social media. Machado’s casting has not been officially confirmed by Disney.
Zach Galifianakis joined the cast in February as Jumba, with Billy Magnussen as Pleakley and Courtney B. Vance as Cobra Bubbles rounding out the cast.
Dean Fleischer Camp, the filmmaker behind the indie darling and Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature Marcel the shod shell, leads the remake which is destined to be a major release on Disney+. Production is officially underway in Hawaii.
The Hawaii-centric story chronicles the bond formed between a lonely human girl named Lilo and a dog-like alien named Stitch, who has been genetically engineered to be a force of destruction. With nosy social workers and pursuing aliens knocking on the door, the two bond over a shared sense of family and win the day.
Chris Kekaniokalani Bright wrote the screenplay for the adaptation.
Rideback’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are producing. Rideback’s Ryan Halprin serves as executive producer alongside Tom Peltzman. The creative team consists of production designer Todd Cherniawsky (Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Trek: Picard); director of photography Nigel Bluck (The unbearable weight of massive talent) and second DP unit (the Lord of the Rings trilogy, dead Pool); visual effects supervisor Craig Hammack (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Panther, tomorrowland); and costume designer Wendy Chuck (About Schmidt, NebraskaAnd The descendants).
The original film was released in 2002 and became a cult hit, grossing over $273 million worldwide based on an $80 million budget. It was also nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
Sanders is represented by WME and Lichter Grossman.