‘Lilo and Stitch’: Maia Kealoha to Play Lilo in Live-Action Adaptation!!

Disney‘s next live-action venture is currently in the works, and it’s just found one of its title characters. The company’s upcoming Lilo & Stitch remake has cast newcomer Maia Kealoha as the young protagonist Lilo. Kealoha joins the previously announced Zach Galifiankis. At this time, there has been no public confirmation on who Galifiankis is playing.

Based on the 2002 animated feature, Lilo & Stitch centers on Lilo Pelekai, a young Hawaiian girl who’s raised by her 19-old-year sister Nani. Often struggling to fit in with others, Lilo soon finds a kindred spirit when a dog-like alien named Stitch crash-lands on Earth. The two form a quick bond with one another, and Lilo is determined to protect Stitch from other aliens seeking to harm him. Meanwhile, Lilo and Nani must contend with social services constantly hovering. Since its release, the movie has received three additional sequels and a two-season long television series.

While Kealoha will be making her acting debut with the feature, she has previously been part of Little Miss Kona Coffee pageants, and has experience with Tahitian dancing. As Lilo & Stitch fans know, Lilo also has a passion for dancing, something viewers learn about her early on in the franchise. Though we have to wait and see what the young performer has in store acting-wise, it’s already clear she has one important aspect of Lilo locked down.

The remake is written by Chris Kekaniokalani Bright, marking his feature writing debut following his short film Tsuru. Dean Fleischer Camp, who most recently gained widespread acclaim for Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, is set to direct. He steps in for Jon M. Chu, who was first attached to the project in 2020. Rideback‘s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich serve as producers, with Ryan Halprin set as an executive producer.

Lilo & Stitch Joins a Lengthy Line-Up of Live-Action Remakes

For the past several years, Disney especially has been riding the live-action train, focusing on remakes of several beloved animated classics. Most recently, the studio announced that a live-action hybrid remake of The Aristocats is the latest movie to be revisited. Near the end of 2022, a direct live-action remake of Pinocchio from Robert Zemeckis hit the scene, though it was poorly received by critics and general audiences. Other classics such as The Lion King, The Jungle Book, and Dumbo have also been remade, among others. On April 28, the live-action Peter Pan & Wendy will debut on Disney+. It will be followed soon after on May 26 as the live-action version of The Little Mermaid swims to theaters.

The upcoming Lilo & Stitch currently has no projected release date. It’s set to debut on Disney+.


via Collider

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