Disney's Live-Action Remake of "Lilo & Stitch" Has Found Its Main Cast
At long last, the live-action "Lilo & Stitch" movie is happening. While news that the film was in the works was first announced way back in 2018, updates were scarce while Disney focused on its other live-action adaptations of films from their vast animated catalog, including "The Little Mermaid" and the Tom Hanks-starring "Pinocchio." But with more casting updates rolling in and a director attached, the "Lilo & Stitch" reboot is closer to becoming a reality than ever before.
On March 31, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the studio has found its Lilo in newcomer Maia Kealoha. Casting news for Lilo's sister, Nani, followed soon after with Sydney Elizabeth Agudong taking on the role. It's still unclear when filming on the movie will begin, but the sweet tale of found family and embracing the Ohana spirit is coming together behind the scenes.
At this early stage, there are still plenty of details that are unknown — including what a CGI Stitch will look like and when exactly the movie will be released. But with Disney rounding out the main cast, it won't be long before filming is underway. For now, read on for everything we know about the live-action "Lilo & Stitch" movie so far.
Live-Action "Lilo & Stitch" Cast
Kealoha is set to play Lilo in what will be her first film role. Meanwhile, Agudong is also a relatively fresh face. The Nani actor previously appeared in episodes of "On My Block" and "NCIS." Additional cast members include Zach Galifianakis (who The Wrap confirmed will be the voice of alien Pleakley), "No Time to Die" actor Billy Magnussen in a mystery role, newcomer Kahiau Machado as Nani's love interest, David Kawena, and Emmy-winner Courtney B. Vance is set to star as Cobra Bubbles, per Deadline.
As for the role of Stitch, the character was originally voiced by the animated movie's director, Chris Sanders. While there have been rumors he will return to voice the adorable alien again, the news has not yet been confirmed. In a 2022 interview with Syfy, Sanders did reveal he would come back if Disney calls him.
"It's such a kick to do it," he said of voicing Stitch. "I'm very lucky in that I am able to maintain a connection to him, which is very important. He's a creature that I invented . . . [To say] he's very personal to me is an understatement. He is me and I am him. His personality is my personality. I built him to be that way. His chaotic-neutral personality is mine. He's very near and dear to me and he always will be. I would do his voice in a minute, absolutely."
Sanders isn't the only "Lilo & Stitch" OG name being thrown around for the live-action film. Jason Scott Lee, known for his role as the voice of David, mentioned on the "Kyle Meredith With..." podcast on June 26 that he's set to have a special cameo in the upcoming movie — and the role is a bit of a full-circle moment for him. "I got a little, small [part]," Scott said. "They threw me some bones, and I said, 'Yeah, absolutely! In any capacity. I just wanted to be a part of it . . . I'm playing the Luau manager. I get to see the kid that's playing my character that I voiced, David. And I'll get to see Lilo and I'll get to see Nani, the new people, the actors that are playing them. So it'll be fun."
Live-Action "Lilo & Stitch" Director
"Marcel the Shell With Shoes On" director Dean Fleischer Camp is set to helm the film. Meanwhile, Hawaii native Chris Kekaniokalani Bright is in talks to pen the movie's final script.
Live-Action "Lilo & Stitch" Plot
Disney hasn't released an official plot synopsis, but if the studio's previous live-action remakes are anything to go by, the movie will stick close to the animated film's plot. Just in case you need a refresher, the 2003 animated movie followed Lilo, a young woman grieving the death of her parents and adjusting to living with her big sister when she meets a dog-like alien named Stitch. The troublemaking Stitch and Lilo form a fast bond as the alien attempts to evade Pleakley, an alien agent who is on the hunt for the mischievous creature.