Disney’s Live-Action ‘Lilo & Stitch’ Suffers Major Blow

in Disney, Movies & TV

Lilo dances with Stitch wearing a hula skirt

Credit: Disney

It’s been a tumultuous past few months for Walt Disney Studios thanks to a string of high-budget box office flops like the live-action retelling of The Little Mermaid (2023) and Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023). And now, with the unprecedented WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike bringing Hollywood productions to a standstill, the future of one of Disney’s most prolific live-action remakes now appears uncertain.

Stitch screams with lilo
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Backtracks, Recasts Controversial ‘Lilo & Stitch’ Actor

For better or worse, Disney is continuing to roll out live-action adaptations of nearly all their beloved animated classics. From Beauty and the Beast (2017), to The Lion King (2019), to the most recent Halle Bailey-led The Little Mermaid (2023), audiences worldwide are getting lost in a sea of endless remakes, half of which will never grace the silver screen altogether in lieu of going direct to Disney+.

And the House of Mouse certainly has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. In the past year alone, live-action retellings of The Aristocats (1970), Mufasa: The Lion King (2024), and weirdly enough, even a Dwayne Johnson-helmed Moana (2017) have all been announced, promising even more dull, CGI-laden crowd-pleasers in the years to come.

Mufasa and Simba in 'The Lion King'
Credit: Disney

Related: Stitch Called “Abomination” In Live-Action Reveal

However, one upcoming remake stands out amongst the others: Lilo & Stitch, which will bring the beloved 2002 cult classic to life. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2022) director Dean Fleischer Camp was tapped to helm the film in 2022, and since then, casting for most primary characters has been revealed, with newcomer Maia Kealoha set to play the rebellious Lilo and Chris Sanders likely to reprise his role as Stitch (AKA Experiment 626.)

The original Lilo & Stitch animated feature became an instant fan-favorite following its release in 2002, and remains one of the most beloved additions to the studio’s Post-Renaissance Era. Following the story of Lilo and her alien sidekick, Stitch, the movie explores the pair’s unlikely friendship as they navigate the hardships of family, belonging, and the lurking dangers of an extraterrestrial threat.

Lilo and Stitch
Credit: Disney

2023’s Lilo & Stich begun filming in Oahu, Hawaii back in April after a series of delays, and now, it looks like the movie’s release date might be pushed back even further. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production on the upcoming Disney remake has officially shut down after SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on the picket line earlier this month, bringing the entertainment industry to an abrupt stop.

Lilo & Stich is far from the only Disney film to be affected by the strike, with Marvel’s Deadpool 3 (2024), Blade (2024), and Thunderbolts (2024) all ceasing production until actors and writers can work out a new deal with major Hollywood studios.

Writers picket a studio
Credit: Variety

The historic labor strike sees actors and writers joining forces for the first time since 1960 in the fight for equal compensation, job security, protection from AI, and streaming residuals, among other demands. While companies like Warner Bros., Disney, and Netflix have yet to budge, the strike has already cost the industry millions of dollars in losses, which could escalate to the billions considering there’s no end in sight.

Lilo & Stitch
Credit: Disney

For now, it looks like we’ll just have to wait for this Hawaiian roller coaster ride to start up again—and hopefully, soon.

What are your thoughts on the SAG-AFTRA stoppage’s impact on Lilo & Stitch? Are you looking forward to the movie? Let us know in the comments below.

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