Courtney B. Vance has been cast as the live-action version of Cobra Bubbles in the upcoming Lilo & Stitch remake at Disney.
Deadline reports that Vance joins a cast including newcomer Maia Kealoha, who will play Lilo, Sydney Agudong as Nani, Kahiau Machado as David, Billy Magnussen and Zach Galifianakis.
This news comes after a report by Knight Edge Media that child protective services agent Cobra Bubbles, a Black character from the animated 2002 movie voiced by Ving Rhames, would be replaced in the live-action version by a character named Mrs. Kekoa, played by WandaVision and The White Lotus star Jolene Purdy. After the news was tweeted by PopBase, people on social media let off their frustration surrounding what was believed to be official casting news. The central part of the frustration was the belief that Disney was replacing a prominent Black character.
In the animated film, Cobra Bubbles is a former CIA agent who has become a social worker for child protective services, and is investigating Nani, Lilo’s older sister, whom he believes to not be a fit guardian after the deaths of she and Lilo’s parents. Cobra is insistent on taking Lilo into the foster care system, while Nani fights to keep her remaining family close to her. Of course, her fight becomes even more strenuous when Stitch, an alien designed to destroy everything in its path, becomes Lilo’s pet.
Production for the film is expected to kick off sometime next year. Dean Fleischer Camp is directing from a script by Chris Kekaniokalani Bright, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders.