Director Jon M. Chu of Crazy Rich Asians fame is reportedly in talks with Disney to helm a live-action version of Lilo & Stitch. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback are producing. Rideback's Ryan Halprin is executive producing. Mike Van Waes wrote the script's latest draft, with a new writer being sought to give it a polish. Deadline first reported the news, and it is unclear if the project is for theaters or Disney+. This fall, the company shifted focus to its streaming service, telling investors that many projects will shift gears and be produced for Plus. Lilo & Stitch would join other active productions of The Little Mermaid, Cruella, Peter Pan and Wendy, Snow White, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pinocchio, Bambi, Robin Hood, and Hercules in various stages of development/filming.
Jon M. Chu Would Bring Heart To Lilo & Stitch
Chu is great at doing big, bombastic set-pieces while also finding the small, touching moments needed for a story like this, so him helming a Lilo & Stitch film makes sense on paper, at least. I would not have thought that they could pull this off before Dumbo and Lion King last year, but after seeing what they did to bring those animals to life, I have faith that they could do Stitch justice. Like anything else, it would come down to casting. Whoever they get to play Lilo has to carry the whole film, which is a tall order for a child actor.
At this point, shouldn't Disney just green light their entire catalog for a live-action film? With 73 million subscribers on Disney+ now, they are not lacking eyeballs on their content, and we are going to consume all of it. And then, after the last live-action remake, they can make animated remakes of the live-action remakes and come full circle.