Good news isn’t easy to come by these days, but Kelly Marie Tran starring in Raya and the Last Dragon certainly qualifies.
Kelly Marie Tran may have gotten the short end of the stick during The Rise of Skywalker, but she’s landed the lead role in Disney’s animated Raya and the Last Dragon — and we can’t wait to see her talent at work. Entertainment Weekly broke the news this week, revealing that Tran would be replacing Cassie Steele, who was originally slated to play the titular Raya.
The film, which is scheduled to arrive in 2021, follows a warrior as she embarks on a journey to find the last dragon in her world. The film’s setting is inspired by Southeast Asia, and Tran’s casting marks a milestone in Disney history: She’s the first Southeast Asian to lead a film from Disney Animation Studios.
Also enhancing the cast is Awkwafina, who will be playing the dragon Sisu, although she won’t be a dragon for much of the film. It seems a large part of Raya and Sisu’s story involves turning Sisu back into a dragon — which should be an entertaining ride.
In addition to Raya and the Last Dragon breaking ground when it comes to representation, it’s also pushing the boundaries when it comes to production. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the movie will be Disney’s first animated film to be created remotely, a development that could prove a game-changer if all goes well.
There hasn’t been much to be excited about this year, but a new role for Kelly Marie Tran is something to celebrate — and it’s the good news we’re clinging to this week.
What do you think of Disney casting Kellie Marie Tran as Raya? Is it a good fit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!