Walt Disney Animation Studios announced a change in casting for the lead role in the animated fantasy adventure, Raya and the Last Dragon. Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s Kelly Marie Tran will now take on the job of bringing Raya to life on the screen. Cassie Steele had previously been cast in the voice role.
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tran described Raya as a real fighter. “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,” said Tran. “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.”
Awkwafina was previously announced to voice Sisu the dragon.
The Walt Disney Animation Studios project has four directors credited: Don Hall (Big Hero 6) and Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting) as well as co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa. The film marks Briggs and Ripa’s feature film directorial debuts. Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim wrote the screenplay and Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho are producing.
Walt Disney Animation Studios is aiming for a March 12, 2021 theatrical release.
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well.