Ohana Means Family: Fan Casting A Live-Action “Lilo And Stitch”

Welcome to another edition of my “Disney live-action fan casting” series, in which I take a classical Disney animated film and try to find the right actors to portray the film on-screen today. Check out previous editions below!

Some of these fan casts are more difficult than others, and trying to find the perfect people to portray the characters of Lilo and Stitch in a live-action setting was incredibly hard, but here it is at last below!

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons As Lilo

To fill the shoes of the adorable and insane Lilo, we need a little girl used to crazy situations and being able to talk back to adults, as Lilo is about as sassy as six year olds come. Well, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons has starred in Modern Family since she was four years old, and that presents about the craziest situations you are likely to find anywhere. In the show, her character, Lily Tucker-Pritchett, is the sassiest little girl you’ll find anywhere, and as such she is perfect to bring Lilo to life, and will be able to play her as crazily as you could ever want or need!

Andy Serkis As Stitch

Sure, it’s obvious, but there’s a reason that Andy Serkis is so often cast in roles like Gollum, Caesar and King Kong, and that’s because he’s phenomenal at performing them! Stitch is a character that, like these, has to act and feel distinctly inhuman, something which Serkis is practised at. Andy knows how to get into the mind of one of these characters, and can really bring the movements of anything to life, so he should have no trouble with this.

Janel Parrish As Nani

Nani is an incredibly complex character once you dig beneath the surface. She’s trying to balance a desperate job hunt, an alien dog, a sister she’s responsible for that is about to be taken away, and the loss of her parents on top of it all. For the role, we need somebody who can deal with a whole lot of crazy situations, and Janel Parrish AKA Mona Vanderwaal from Pretty Little Liars, who is constantly finding herself in another high pressure situation, usually involving somebody’s murder. Janel may not have dealt with aliens yet (although I wouldn’t put it past Pretty Little Liars) but she has some pretty great singing ability and I bet she can learn to surf!

Jason Mamoa As David

Has anybody ever noticed the fact that David is really ripped? He’s a Hawaiian surfing dude with huge muscles, but he’s really kind and all he wants is to help Lilo and Nani get through their difficult period. It just so happens that there’s another Hawaiian guy with huge muscles who can play really down-to-earth guys, and he’s so good at surfing that he’s the literal King of Atlantis! Jason Momoa would be hilarious as David, who only wants a date with Nani, and he’s absolutely massive, so that wouldn’t be a problem! Plus, his usual roles are such giant, scary guys that this would be hilarious to see, something akin to Chris Hemsworth’s comedic roles in Vacation and Ghostbusters!

John Rhys-Davies As Jumba

You know what I realised? Jumba is kind of like a crazy, alien scientist version of Sallah from the Indiana Jones films! Well, the man who brought Sallah to life is John Rhys-Davies, who has experience in being around special effects from his time as Gimli in Lord of the Rings. He shouldn’t have any problem switching to CGI from all of the special sets used for the epic trilogy. His booming voice would fit perfectly with that of Jumba, and he has a lot of experience at acting through voice alone, so says his extensive body of voice acting (which includes several appearances in various Marvel animated shows over the years as Thor).

Martin Freeman As Pleakley

Pleakley is a bit of a pain in the ass, and he is terrified of Jumba for a great deal of the film, so you need someone who can be rather stuttery and constantly tell you not to do anything, and that’s Martin Freeman. In The Hobbit trilogy, he played Bilbo Baggins, who was very unsure of himself a great deal of the time, and in Captain America: Civil War, he played Everett Ross, a government official who was very… official about everything. If you mix those two characters, I think you have Pleakley himself! Freeman knows how to get around CGI (it was all over the Hobbit films) and shouldn’t have a problem dealing with it for this character.

Toby Kebbell As Gantu

Need someone to play a giant, hulking figure, with a deep voice and a mission he is entirely focused on? Someone who can fit into CGI like a hand fits into a glove? Toby Kebbell is your man. After his performance (which I enjoyed, at least) as Dr Doom in the newest Fantastic Four film, Kebbell went on to star in Warcraft: The Beginning as everyone’s favourite orc, Durotan. The similarities between playing a character like Durotan and a character like Gantu are stunning, so Kebbell could definitely do this!

Judi Dench As Grand Council Woman

Judi Dench is a legendary figure, and her controlling, calm voice would brilliantly suit the Grand Council Woman, a powerful leader who isn’t a bad guy, she just doesn’t understand why these girls would want to keep an indestructible alien, which is built specifically to destroy. Saying that, I can really understand why she wanted to take Stitch away. Dench has played many powerful characters that take an objective role in a situation they don’t fully comprehend, the most significant being that of Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love.

Idris Elba As Cobra Bubbles

Ah, the big guy who is absolutely terrifying, very mysterious, and a total bad-ass. Are we talking about Cobra Bubbles or John Luther, the character played by Idris Elba in BBC’s Luther? The answer is both, and that’s why Elba is the perfect man to play Bubbles in a live-action adaption. He can easily pull off the ex-CIA agent working for child services. Bubbles is a great character who, like the Grand Council Woman, is only trying to do what is right, and that puts him in a difficult situation because of Lilo and Nani’s difficulties, Elba can pull that all off and more!

So there it is, folks! That’s how I would like to see a live-action version of Lilo and Stitch brought to the big screen. Below you can check out one of my favourite scenes from the original film, and links to other articles in my Disney live-action fan casting series of articles! Check them out and keep an eye out for another one in two days time!

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It’s hard to tell who’s more crazy… me, or everyone else. Aspiring Screen Writer and Speculator of Everything. Feel free to shoot me an email: [email protected]