Lilo & Stitch has now joined the ever-growing list of Disney animated films that are in the process of being remade in live-action. The Oscar-nominated 2002 feature told the story of Stitch aka. Experiment #626, an extraterrestrial genetic experiment who manages to escape the custody of the Galactic Federation and find his way to earth. There, the creature passes itself off as being a (rather unusual looking) dog and becomes the pet to a lonely Hawaiian girl named Lilo.
While the animated Lilo & Stitch was only a modest financial success by the Mouse House’s standards (grossing $273 million at the global box office against an $80 million budget), it was generally well-received for its quirky humor and idiosyncratic, yet emotionally rich, story and characters. The movie eventually launched multiple direct to video sequels and TV series, and is nowadays generally regarded as one of Disney’s best animated films released in the 2000s. Lilo & Stitch directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders likewise went on to even bigger ventures – namely, the How to Train Your Dragon franchise at DreamWorks Animation.
According to THR, Disney is now planning to re-imagine Lilo & Sitch as a live-action/CGI hybrid. The project is being produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich (who are also backing the Mouse House’s live-action Aladdin remake) and written by Mike Van Waes, an up and comer who is also working on The Conjuring spinoff The Crooked Man for Warner Bros. and New Line. For the time being, the Lilo & Stitch remake does not have a director attached.
It’s not clear yet whether the Mouse House is planning to release the Lilo & Stitch remake in theaters or as an Original Movie through its upcoming streaming service (which is expected to launch sometime in Fall 2019). Disney already has live-action remakes of The Sword in the Stone and Lady and the Tramp in the pipeline and is planning to release both films through its as-yet officially untitled service. Seeing as Lilo & Stitch is a comparatively smaller brand like those IPs, the Mouse House may be planning to premiere its remake as a streaming original too.
For related reasons, it’s also starting to become less a question of which beloved Disney animated films are getting a remake and more a question of which ones are not being re-imagined for live-action. This news about a Lilo & Stitch remake in particular will almost certainly prompt a mixed reaction among the 2002 animated movie’s fans, many of whom grew up watching and loving the original as children. On the plus side, though, a live-action retelling does provide the chance for some welcome onscreen representation for Hawaiian actors in a non-animated Disney film.
We will bring you more details on the Lilo & Stitch remake as they become available.