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Zach Galifianakis has closed a deal to star in Lilo & Stitch, Disney’s live-action remake of its cult 2002 animated movie.
Dean Fleischer Camp, the filmmaker behind indie darling and best animated feature Oscar nominee Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, is directing the feature that is intended to be a major release on Disney+.
The Hawaii-centric story tells of the bond formed between a lonely human girl named Lilo and a dog-like alien named Stitch, who was genetically engineered to be a force of destruction. With nosy social workers and pursuing aliens banging on the door, the two bond over a shared sense of family and win the day.
Details of Galifianakis’ role are being kept in the dog pound.
The studio is conducting a wide search for the actors to play Lilo and her older sister. Stitch, naturally, will be a CG confection.
Chris Kekaniokalani Bright wrote the script for the adaptation. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois wrote and directed the original feature that, while not an initial hit, developed a loyal fan base that has only grown over the ensuing years.
Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback are producing. Rideback’s Ryan Halprin is executive producing.
The deal marks a return to studio moviemaking for Galifianakis for the first time since 2018’s A Wrinkle in Time, also a Disney movie. The actor and comedian was a fixture on the big screen for many years thanks to the Hangover franchise and films such as Due Date. Since the late 2010s, however, Galifianakis has focused on television work, co-creating and starring in Baskets for FX, and doing plenty of voice work as well.
The comedian is slowly coming out of his shell and has two movies in the can. He is starring with Elizabeth Banks in The Beanie Bubble, centered on the 1990s toy craze, which will stream on Apple TV+, and will appear in Winner, Susanna Fogel’s drama on whistleblower Reality Winner.
Galifianakis, who gained a massive following for his online talk show Between Two Ferns, is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Yorn Levine.
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