Jon M. Chu to Direct ‘Lilo & Stitch’ Live-Action Movie

Rebecca Rubin
·2-min read

The “Lilo & Stitch” ohana is expanding, with Jon M. Chu in talks to direct Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation.

Disney has yet to announce if the movie will release in theaters or on Disney Plus, the studio’s subscription streaming service. “Lilo & Stitch” has not set a screenwriter or any cast members.

Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback, the company that recently backed Disney’s “Aladdin” remake, are producing the film, with Rideback exec Ryan Halprin serving as an executive producer.

The original movie, written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, was released in 2002. The animated family film follows a 6-year-old Hawaiian girl Lilo and her teenage sister Nani, who adopt a blue extraterrestrial creature nicknamed Stitch. The movie popularized the song “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” and familiarized audiences to the concept of ohana, which means family — and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

“Lilo & Stitch” has inspired multiple spinoffs, including the direct-to-video sequels “Stitch: The Movie,” “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” and “Leroy and Stitch.” A TV show called “Lilo & Stitch: The Series” ran on Disney Channel and ABC Kids from 2003 to 2006.

Numerous Disney animated favorites have gotten the live-action treatment in recent years, such as “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan” and “Dumbo.” A remake of “The Little Mermaid” is also in the works, with singer Halle Bailey playing Ariel and Melissa McCarthy portraying the evil Ursula.

Chu is best known for directing 2018’s box office smash “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to feature a predominately Asian and Asian American cast. He also directed “In the Heights,” the big-screen version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical that’s expected to debut in 2021. Before embarking on the Hawaiian-set “Lilo & Stitch,” Chu is working with Disney on the “Willow” TV series for Disney Plus.

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