Since its initial announcement, little details have surfaced about Disney’s latest animated feature. Raya and the Last Dragon is currently scheduled to be released theatrically in the United States on March 12, 2021. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to affect that plan. However, as first reported by Entertainment Weekly, Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran recently joined the cast and will voice the film’s titular character.
Additionally, the original report includes a slew of new details regarding the film’s production. While work on the animated picture began in March, the film has largely been put together remotely. Director Don Hall (Big Hero 6) touts the efficiency of his crew and went as far as to call Raya the most beautiful animated film he’s ever seen. Hall will direct the feature alongside co-director Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting). Moreover, Soul Samurai playwright Qui Nguyen will join the film’s writer’s room with Crazy Rich Asians scribe Adele Lim.
Tran takes the role over from Rick & Morty star Cassie Steele and joins the previously announced Awkwafina in the voice cast. The new casting is historic in and of itself as Tran is now the first Southeast Asian actress to lead a Disney film. Tran expressed her excitement to explore the new character in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
“She is someone who is technically a princess but I think that what’s really cool about this project, about this character, specifically is that everyone’s trying to flip the narrative on what it means to be a princess,” Tran says. “Raya is totally a warrior. When she was a kid, she was excited to get her sword. And she grows up to be a really badass, gritty warrior and can really take care of herself.”
Tran last appeared on the big screen in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker. The film concludes both her character’s storyline as well as the Skywalker Saga as a whole. Additionally, the actress will next lend her voice talents to The Croods 2 and Monsters at Work.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to the Disney film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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