Chris Sanders Returns in Closing Talks as the Voice of

Chris Sanders Returns in Closing Talks as the Voice of Stitch in Disney’s Live-Action Lilo & Stitch (Exclusive)

Lilo & Stitch Disney

Chris Sanders is in final negotiations to cast Stitch in Disney’s live-action Lilo & Stitch, has learned.

Tia Carrere, who originally voiced Nani in the first film, will also play the newly created Mrs. Kekoa, while Amy Hill will appear as a new character named Tūtū.

Sanders, who co-wrote and directed the original film with Dean DeBlois, voiced the creature he also created in 2002’s Lilo & Stitch and Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-06). Sanders has been rumored to be returning as Stitch for years, but in a 2022 interview with SYFY Wire, he said he wasn’t 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 as Kaipot Dudoit. During Disney’s review process, previous posts on social media in which Machado used racial slurs were uncovered. Machado’s casting has not been officially confirmed by Disney.

Zach Galifianakis joined the cast in February as Jumba, Billy Magnussen as Pleakley and Courtney B. Vance as Cobra Bubbles rounded out the cast.

Dean Fleischer Camp, the filmmaker behind indie darling and Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, is directing the remake, which is slated for a major release on Disney+. Production has officially started in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian tale tells of the connection 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 curious 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. Mike Van Waes wrote the original screenplay.

Rideback’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are producing. Rideback’s Ryan Halprin is executive producing alongside Tom Peitzman. The creative team consists of production designer Todd Cherniawsky (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Trek: Picard); cinematographer Nigel Bluck (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) and Second Unit DP (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Deadpool); Visual Effects Supervisor Craig Hammack (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Panther, Tomorrowland); and costume designer Wendy Chuck (About Schmidt, Nebraska and 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.