The Disney trend of live-action remakes is hitting the 00s, targeting one of the most beloved, and the casting process is finally underway.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Zach Galifianakis is set to star in the upcoming live-action remake of 2002’s Lilo & Stitch. While THR did not confirm, The Wrap reports Galifianakis will star as the side character Pleakley – a lovable alien sidekick to Jumba Jookiba.
Dean Fleischer Camp will direct Lilo & Stitch for Disney, fresh off his Oscar-nominated 2022 film Marcel The Shell With Shoes On. Chris Kekaniokalani Bright wrote the script for the adaptation of Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois’s original work. THR reports the film is heading straight to Disney+ and is being looked at as a big deal for the streamer.
Lilo & Stitch was released in 2002 and is considered a box office success, grossing over $273 million worldwide. Despite its money and a Best Animated Feature nomination at the 75th Academy Awards, the film never made the same splash as its peers. But it would later grow a cult following, and the original movie would see several sequels and television series. The franchise included three direct-to-video sequels, starting with Stitch! The Movie, and three television series, including the sequel series Lilo & Stitch: The Series.
The story follows Lilo Pelekai, raised by her older sister Nani, and Stitch, an alien creature with the code name Experiment 626. Together, these two wreak havoc and become best friends in the beautiful location of Kauaʻi, Hawaii. Dr. Jumba Jookiba and Agent Wendy Pleakley created Stitch and are on the hunt for him, while Cobra Bubbles, a former CIA agent working as a case worker on Lilo and Nani’s living situation. The story hit hard on living in Hawaii and sisterhood themes and played to the misfits like no other Disney movie before it.
Zach Galifianakis’ role in the film marks his first major studio film since 2018’s A Wrinkle in Time. The actor has worked on co-creating and starring in Baskets for FX, and will soon star with Elizabeth Banks in The Beanie Bubble, centered on the 1990s toy craze, which will stream on Apple TV+.