New reports suggest that actor Zach Galifianakis, just cast as the first confirmed member of the live-action Lilo and Stitch film, will play Pleakley, the hilarious one-eyed alien in drag.
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Lilo and Stitch (2002) slowly rose to success with Disney audiences, bringing in $273 million at the box office compared to an $80 million budget. The film, written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, followed the exploits of Experiment 626 (Stitch), a small blue extraterrestrial created by Dr. Jumba Jookiba (David Ogden Stiers) after a little Hawaiian girl named Lilo Pelekai (Daveigh Chase) and her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere) adopt Stitch, thinking he’s a dog.
The Wrap and Comic Book Movie have reported that Galifianakis will play Pleakley (Kevin McDonald), an alien commander tasked with recapturing Stitch after he escapes intergalactic prison, often ending up in comedic scenarios alongside Jumba while posing as his wife, with the two eventually become pseudo-uncles to young Lilo after electing to stay on Earth with Stitch. In addition to numerous theme park features, direct-to-video sequels, and two animated series, Stitch and his girlfriend Angel have found popularity with audiences worldwide.
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In fact, The Wrap noted that “Stitch remains one of the best-selling characters in terms of merchandise sold in the parks and on the shopDisney website.” As a result, it’s no surprise that Walt Disney Studios would want to capitalize on this success and that of its recent live-action remakes, notably, the upcoming 2023 Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey.
Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich (2019’s Aladdin, which grossed over $1 million globally) will produce the new Lilo and Stitch, although it’s less clear who will direct and who will write the script. Initially, Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) was set to direct a script by Mike Van Waes, though now a recent update created by Chris Kekaniokalani Bright will move into production.
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Moreover, now Marcel the Shell With Shoes On’s director, Dean Fleischer Camp, will head the film, although Disney has not released any cast besides Galifianakis. Having played numerous comedic characters in award-winning roles and programming over the years, Zach Galifianakis of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time (2018), as well as Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021), will be a great addition to this heartfelt and funny film.