What We Know About the Live-Action Moana


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Moana 2 might be arriving this fall, but fans have even more to look forward to because the original animated film is getting a live-action remake. In April 2023, Dwayne Johnson announced the news on his Instagram, also sharing that he’ll be returning as his character Maui.

“Deeply humbled to announce we’re bringing the beautiful story of MOANA to the live action big screen!” he wrote along with a video of him and his two younger daughters, Jasmine and Tiana, at the beach in O‘ahu. “This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace, mana and warrior strength. I wear our culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once in a lifetime opportunity to reunite with MAUI, inspired by the spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me. We’re honored to partner with @DisneyStudios to tell our story through the realm of music and dance, which at the core is who we are as Polynesian people.”

Johnson ended the post by quoting lyrics to his song from the film, saying, “Much more to come, but until then What can I saaaaaay except…You’re welcome. 🪝”

A couple months later, the Fast and Furious star confirmed the live-action news on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon before breaking into song.

Johnson will also be working as a producer on the film alongside Auli‘i Cravalho, who originally voiced Moana, and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote songs for the 2016 film.

Ahead, everything we know about the upcoming live-action Moana.

When does the live-action Moana come out?

Moana will officially be hitting theaters on July 10, 2026. Disney’s press release states that the movie is set to begin filming this summer.

Who is in the cast?

Dwayne Johnson will be bringing his character Maui to life, playing the demigod in the live-action adaptation. In June 2024, Disney revealed that 17-year-old Catherine Laga‘aia will star as Moana.

The young actress said in a statement, “I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites. My grandfather comes from Fa‘aala, Palauli, in Savai‘i. And my grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa. I’m honored to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples, and to represent young girls who look like me.”

Auli‘i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the animated film, will not be returning onscreen. Instead, she is serving as an executive producer.

In a video posted to her Instagram in May 2023, shortly after the movie was announced, Cravalho said, “When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career. In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role.”

“I believe it is absolutely vital to cast someone who accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell. So, as an executive producer on the film,” she added with a wink and a smile, “I cannot wait to find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit, and emotional strength. I am truly excited to pass this baton onto the next young woman of Pacific Island decent, to honor our incredible Pacific peoples, our cultures and communities that help inspire the story.”

As for the rest of the cast, Disney also revealed that John Tui will be playing Moana’s father, Motunui’s Chief Tui, and Frankie Adams will be her mother, Sina. Rena Owen was cast as Moana’s grandmother.

Hamilton director Thomas Kail will be taking the lead on the film. The script is by Jared Bush, who wrote the screenplay for the original Moana, and Dana Ledoux Miller, who is of Samoan heritage and created Netflix’s Thai Cave Rescue.

Watch Moana

This story will be updated.

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