Years before the blockbusting Moana, plucky Disney heroine Lilo was putting Polynesian culture on the family movie map. She was centre stage in 2002 animated feature Lilo & Stitch, an endearing buddy comedy, and one of the studio's final hand-drawn animations before they decided to go largely digital. And word has come in that we're getting a live-action Disney remake.
Lilo & Stitch was directed by the duo of Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, who would later score critical and commercial success with the How To Train Your Dragon series for DreamWorks. The eponymous Lilo is a lonely young Hawaiian girl who forms a bond, E.T.-style, with a koala-like blue alien, named Stitch.
Initially sent to Earth to cause chaos, Stitch eventually discovers the importance of family, resulting in an underrated Disney gem that's as funny as it is touching. The movie was well-regarded enough that it generated several TV series' and direct-to-video sequels (this was in the dark ages before streaming, remember).
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) states that Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu will helm the Lilo & Stitch remake. That movie showcased the kind of infectious and uplifting spirit that would translate very effectively into the Disney realm. Released in 2018, Crazy Rich Asians generated praise for its progressive all-Asian cast, not to mention its incisive and funny look at the Singaporean wealth divide.
Not that we're expecting this Disney project to be a bean-counting affair. Rather, it will surely harness the enjoyably anarchic spirit of Stitch's adventures on Earth, including his amusing introduction to the music of Elvis Presley. According to THR, the project is "now greenlit" and has drafted screenwriter Mike Van Waes. Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are also on board.
There's no casting news as yet, so watch this space. Next year, Chu will deliver his long-awaited musical movie In the Heights, adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbusting stage sensation. Check out the trailer below and tweet us your thoughts on the Lilo & Stitch remake @Cineworld.