Star Wars may have done her dirty, but Disney isn’t giving up on actress Kelly Marie Tran. In a new “First Look” post from Entertainment Weekly, it was confirmed that the Vietnamese/American actress will be playing the lead role in Disney’s upcoming animated movie Raya and the Last Dragon. Based on Southeast Asia and starring both Tran and Awkwafina, the film is still on track for its March 12, 2021 date (which it was delayed to earlier in the year).
Previously, actress Cassie Steel was set to voice the main character, a young girl named Raya. For one reason or another, she is out and Tran is in. That’s not the only big shake up to happen, as previously announced directors Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins have left the project and are being replaced by Don Hall (Big Hero 6) and Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting). Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim is also working on the script alongside Qui Nguyen, a famous Vietnamese/American playwright.
Walt Disney Animation Studio’s CCO Jennifer Lee told Entertainment Weekly, “As filmmakers, Don and Carlos bring a combination of animation know-how and emotional storytelling to Raya and the Last Dragon, bringing our fantasy adventure to surprising, original, and dynamic heights. They both saw the potential for this film and had a strong vision for the story, especially for our lead character, played by the wonderfully talented Kelly Marie Tran.”
Along with all of this information, a new still was shared from the production that shows a more finalized version of the film. It’s incredibly impressive looking for a team working from home during the quarantine. Disney Animation Studios hasn’t been gathered together in the same room for quite some time, yet it seems that Raya and the Last Dragon is coming together beautifully.
With the announcement of all of this, Disney has managed to shoot this film to the top of my list. I’m very keen to see how the company tackles an Eastern setting now that it has better representation behind the scenes.
Source: Entertainment Weekly