Disney Shuts Down Production on Lilo & Stitch Live-Action Movie

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Lilo & Stitch

Disney's live-action Lilo & Stitch just joined the ever-growing list of productions shutting down in the fallout of the SAG-AFTRA strike

Inspired by the 2002 animated film, Lilo & Stitch is one of several upcoming Disney live-action remakes, including that of Moana and Snow White.

Disney's release calendar may have only just begun its Hollywood roller coaster ride, but the timing of the strike and Lilo & Stitch's filming schedule may allow for options.

Strike Shuts Down Disney's Lilo & Stitch Remake

Lilo and Stitch 2003

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney paused production on its live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. 

Expected to release on Disney+ in 2024, Lilo & Stitch stars newcomer Maia Kealoha as Lilo, Chris Sanders reprising his voice-acting role as Stitch, and Zack Galifianakis as Jumba. 

Filming began on May 1 on-location in Hawaii and offered a first look at Stitch's design

What's particularly noteworthy is the claim that the remake only had a week left of filming before it was shut down. 

What Will Disney Do With Lilo & Stitch?

The fact Lilo & Stitch was a week shy of wrapping puts the film in an interesting position and presents Disney with several options. 

For instance, Disney may choose to finish the movie with the footage it already has. 

Since the remake was headed straight to Disney+, this may be best for Disney financially, especially since it would save costs required to resume production post-strike. 

While live-action remakes typically do well at the box office, they're not always well-received by audiences. Without the appeal of ticket sales, Disney may opt to halt Lilo & Stitch's production for good. 

After all, it would give Disney something new to drop on its streamer if the industry stand-off continues for some time. Plus, there's the reality that the young Maia Kealoha may be considerably older by the time production could resume. 

Whether Disney CEO Bob Iger would greenlight this option is unknown, especially in the wake of his Disney+ content purge for cost-saving and quality control measures. 

However, if not, the good news is that Lilo & Stitch has little left to film, meaning production may be able to stick to its release - or close to it - depending on when an agreement is reached. 

Hopefully, whatever happens, and whatever Disney decides, it will be the best choice for the live-action remake itself and all the talent involved. 

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.