In the years since Lilo & Stitch was released, the movie has not only become a beloved Disney classic, it has also become a major franchise for the House of Mouse. There were three direct-to-video sequels, a Disney Channel series, a Japanese anime and a Chinese animated series. The character also has a significant presence in Disney Parks across the globe, and there are reportedly plans to adapt the original film to live action. As Lilo & Stitch celebrates 20 years since its release, co-writer/director Dean DeBlois shared his thoughts on the future of the blue alien who befriended a Hawaiian girl.
When CinemaBlend exclusively spoke with Dean DeBlois about Lilo & Stitch, the Disney filmmaker reflected on why he and Chris Sanders were never inspired to return for a sequel themselves. DeBlois said this:
DeBlois and Sanders were not creatively involved in the subsequent Lilo & Stitch sequels and spinoffs, with new talent taking over the reins for more TV and on-demand-focused content around Lilo & Stitch. As DeBlois shared, they did not imagine a sequel for the movie and were interested in pursuing a new creative direction after wrapping up the heartwarming 2002 movie.
Following Lilo & Stitch, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders worked together on How To Train Your Dragon for DreamWorks Animation, which did lead to a trilogy that DeBlois worked closely on from beginning to end. The result was the chance to tell the story of Hiccup and Toothless over the course of a decade and bring together a really touching ending. When speaking about the live-action Lilo & Stitch movie in the works at Disney, he said this:
DeBlois made the point that while live-action Disney movies have been popular, all of them so far have also been based on other famous fairy tales or stories from classic literature. However, Lilo & Stitch is an original concept and modern idea that sets it apart from other projects the House of Mouse has decided to remake.
Last we heard back in 2020, Crazy Rich Asians and In The Heights director Jon M. Chu might direct the live-action Lilo & Stitch. However, Chu is getting ready to shoot two Wicked movies, and he’s reportedly no longer involved in the Disney flick. If Disney does end up remaking Lilo & Stitch, Nani voice actress Tia Carrere did share her hopes for more diversity on the soundtrack. You can read more about Carrere’s reflection of the animated classic with CinemaBlend and stream the 2002 movie with a Disney+ subscription to celebrate the movie’s 20th anniversary.