Walt Disney Studios is still searching for a young actor to play Lilo in its upcoming live-action adaptation of “Lilo and Stitch.”
According to a casting call first shared in November 2022, Disney is looking for a “precocious Native Hawaiian girl who loves hula, surfing and wildlife” between the ages of 6 and 8 for lead character Lilo. The actor must also have a “special affinity for all things ‘gross.'”
The casting call also reveals that two new characters – Tūtū and Mrs. Kekoa – will be introduced in the upcoming film. Mrs. Kekoa will be replacing former CIA agent-turned-social worker Cobra Bubbles, affectionately known as Mr. Bubbles.
For the character Tūtū, Disney is looking for a Native Hawaiian woman in her 70s who is “quick-witted” and can speak “with a local Pidgin accent.” The studio notes that Tūtū has known Lilo and Lilo’s older sister, Nani, for years as their neighbor. She is also described as someone who is “kind and hospitable” and understands the two sisters’ struggles.
Meanwhile, Disney is looking for a 55-year-old Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) actor for the role of Mrs. Kekoa. The character is described as “a practical, by-the-book kind and patient woman who checks in regularly with Nani, whom she can tell is struggling to keep her head above water while taking care of Lilo.”
A casting call for David Kawena and Nani was reportedly released last year.
In the upcoming live-action film, David will be portrayed as “a decent, good-hearted young man” who is “a student at the local community college” and “works with Nani at the hotel where he performs the Fire Knife Dance for the tourists.”
According to the casting call, Nani will also be a college student: “Caring for Lilo while keeping up her grades and holding down a steady job ain’t easy, and her shortcomings have recently drawn unwanted attention from Child Protective Services, who threaten to separate the sisters if they can’t reform.”
The news of a live-action adaptation of the hit 2002 animated film was first announced in October 2018.
“Lilo and Stitch” follows the story of Lilo Pelekai, a young girl whose life changes after adopting Stitch, a genetically engineered alien created solely for destruction.
While Jon M. Chu was originally tied to the project as its director, this role was later handed to Dean Fleischer Camp (“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”) in July 2022.
Zach Galifianakis has reportedly been tapped for an undisclosed role in the film.