It’s time to welcome back the “ohana” from Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch.” A live-action remake of the 2002 cartoon has begun filming on Oahu with an anticipated release date in 2024 on Disney+.
The original animated story follows the story of a young Kauai girl named Lilo who mistakes an alien, who has crash-landed on the island, for a dog and brings him home.
Local entertainment Facebook page Reel News Hawaii has been following the casting and compiled the announced characters so far. Better-known faces include Zach Galifianakis as the alien Jumba, Courtney B. Vance as Cobra Bubbles, and rebooted “Magnum P.I.” actress Amy Hill as a new character, Tutu — that word means grandmother in Hawaiian. Tia Carrere, who originally voiced the role of Nani, Lilo’s sister, is now playing a new character named Mrs. Kekoa.
The original voice of Stitch, Chris Sanders, is also slated to return for the live-action version.
Besides well-known faces, the “Lilo and Stitch” production has been sending out local casting calls for lead and extra parts. Three Hawaii actors are playing Lilo, her sister Nani, and Nani’s boyfriend David.
Big Islander Maia Kealoha, age 6, will play Lilo. Kauai resident Sydney Agudong has been cast as Nani. Some have posted that they had hoped Nani would be played by someone with darker skin, closer to the animated depiction of Lilo’s sister.
And, after a highly publicized recasting, Kaipo Dudoit will play David.
People on social media seem to be reacting relatively positively to his involvement. Twitter user Hector Navarro posted about Dudoit’s likeness to David.
Can you believe Kaipo Dudoit was NOT Disney’s first choice to play David Kawena in #LiloAndStitch???
The dude is practically a real life David. pic.twitter.com/TahrJeDh4A
— Hector Navarro (@imhectornavarro) April 22, 2023
While the original movie was set in Hanapepe, Kauai, filming will take place on Oahu, where there is more film infrastructure and crews are more readily available. Major network shows “Magnum P.I.” and “NCIS: Hawaii” also film on Oahu along with a regular rotation of other TV shows and movies.
“Lilo and Stitch” joins other upcoming live-action projects from Disney, including “The Little Mermaid,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Mufasa: The Lion King” and “Moana.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced the “Moana” news earlier this month. And, yes, Maui will be played again by Johnson.
Are you excited at the idea of a “Lilo and Stitch” remake?