Original Voice Actor Chris Sanders in Talks To Return For Lilo & Stitch

Live-action re-imaginings of Disney animated features typically give new actors the chance to put their own stamp on iconic roles. But some actors just can’t be replaced, and apparently, this includes Lilo & Stitch’s Chris Sanders. In addition to co-writing and co-directing the original 2002 film, Sanders also provided the voice of the titular alien creature, who crash-lands on the island of Kaua’i after fleeing his jailers in outer space. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, Sanders is in final negotiations to reprise his role in the upcoming remake.

In the years following the original film’s release, Sanders continued to voice Stitch in virtually all Western media, including Lilo & Stitch: The Series and Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts video games. After Lilo & Stitch hit theaters, Sanders and co-director Dean DeBlois teamed up once again for DreamWorks’ first How to Train Your Dragon installment. DeBlois wrote and directed the next two films in the series by himself with Sanders serving as an executive producer. In 2020, Sanders made his live-action directorial debut with The Call of the Wild, which starred Harrison Ford.

Additionally, Disney has confirmed that Tia Carrere, who voiced Lilo’s sister Nani in the animated version, will play an all-new character named Mrs. Kekoa in the remake. Amy Hill (Magnum P.I.) has also joined the cast as another new character, Tūtū.

Newcomer Maia Kealoha is headlining the film as Lilo, with Sydney Agudong co-starring as Nani. The supporting cast also includes Courtney B. Vance as Lilo’s social worker, Cobra Bubbles. Earlier this week, Kahiau Machado was cast as David Kawena. But after Disney discovered social media posts in which the actor used racial slurs, the studio has now replaced him with Kaipot Dudoit. 

It was also previously rumored that Zach Galifianakis was starring as Galactic Federation Agent Wendy Pleakley. However, the latest report claims that Galifianakis will instead play Stitch’s creator, Dr. Jumba Jookiba. Billy Magnussen will be the one take on the role of Pleakley in the film. 

Lilo & Stitch will be released exclusively on Disney+. The studio hasn’t announced a release date, but production is currently underway in Hawaii.

Are you happy to hear that Sanders and Carrere are returning for Lilo & Stitch? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation

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