Lilo & Stitch is one of the most beloved Disney Animation movies from the early 2000s, and considering one of Disney’s biggest moneymaking tactics recently has been to remake its animated classics in live-action, it was only a matter of time before this one found itself in contention for a new version. A remake has actually already been kicking around for a little over two years, but now it seems to have found a director in Jon M. Chu, the filmmaker behind Crazy Rich Asians and the upcoming In the Heights.
The Hollywood Reporter says Chu is in negotiations to direct a live-action Lilo and Stitch remake, which may or may not be released theatrically but could just as easily end up going directly to Disney+.
Mike Van Waes, who wrote the upcoming The Crooked Man spin-off of The Conjuring 2, wrote the current draft of the screenplay, but the report says a new writer will be hired to work with Chu on the script. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2: The Streets, Now You See Me 2) recently made headlines by signing on to direct the Willow TV series for Disney+, so he has a relationship with the studio already. If they must go ahead with a remake of this movie, he strikes me as a solid choice to direct it.
Here is the original 2002 movie’s synopsis, for anyone who missed the movie when it came out originally:
A tale of a young girl’s close encounter with the galaxy’s most wanted extraterrestrial. Lilo is a lonely Hawaiian girl who adopts a small ugly “dog,” whom she names Stitch. Stitch would be the perfect pet if he weren’t in reality a genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on Earth. Through her love, faith and unwavering belief in ohana, the Hawaiian concept of family, Lilo helps unlock Stitch’s heart and gives him the ability to care for someone else.
Lilo and Stitch was not a box office smash, and while it has some vocal advocates, it’s arguably one of the studio’s lesser movies of this century. (Its watercolor backgrounds were a bold choice, but I personally thought it made the movie feel a little cheap in comparison to some of the other Disney titles being released around that time.) But the characters are unquestionably cute, and character design like that goes a long way when it comes to selling toys and merchandise, which Lilo and Stitch has done in a major way since its release.
Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who produced Disney’s billion-dollar live-action remake of Aladdin, are producing this film as well.
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