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‘Moana’ Is Looking for a New Hero With Auli’i Cravalho’s Help

Moana and Maui in the Disney animated film 'Moana'

It is been confirmed! Moana is getting a live-action remake and we are very excited indeed.

As per USA Today, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the live-action remake of Moana during a shareholders meeting. The President of Motion Picture Production said, “It’s still early, but the idea of working with these fantastic partners to tell such a meaningful story on a live-action canvas, particularly as we celebrate 100 years of storytelling at Disney, is thrilling.”

Dwayne Johnson has announced his return as the god Maui, and although his original co-star Auli’i Cravalho will not be reprising her role as Moana, she’s very involved in the live-action remake. Here’s everything we know so far about the new Moana movie.

Who is in the live-action Moana remake?

Well, if you were looking forward to seeing Auli’i Cravalho as Moana, then we regret to inform you that she won’t be reprising her role as the eponymous hero in the new film. Cravalho explained the decision in a video posted to Instagram, noting that age and accurate representation are significant factors.

“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,” Cravalho said. “I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell.”

Cravalho continued: “I am truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent to honour our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures, and communities that helped inspire her story, and I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come.”

“As an executive producer on the film, I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit, and emotional strength.” However, Cravalho said that she will be an executive producer on the film, while Dwayne Johnson will produce.

In a video announcement, Johnson—whose grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, inspired Maui, and seems set to play his role once more—said,  “I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen. This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength.

“I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui, inspired by the mana and spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me.”

Johnson continued, “I want to thank my partners at Disney for their strong commitment to this special endeavor, because there is no better world for us to honor the story of our people, our passion and our purpose than through the realm of music and dance, which is at the core of who we are as Polynesian people.”

Cravalho, who is Hawaiian, said in a statement previously that the character she portrayed “has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses. Moana’s strength and perseverance are inspiring—to audiences around the world, to me, and to everyone who helped bring her to life. I’m looking forward to sharing her story in a whole new way.”

Many of those at the helm of the animated film will return including screenwriter Jared Bush, who has also worked on Disney features like Encanto and Zootopia.

When will the live-action remake of Moana make its way into theaters?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who will be reprising his role as Maui, said that the film’s production is still “very early in the process” so we wouldn’t say that the release date is just around the corner. It might be a couple of years or more before Moana is released.

What is the plot of Moana?

Described by Disney on their streaming platform as “a fun-filled, action-packed voyage”, Moana follows the young Pacific Island titular character as she sets out to right demigod Maui’s wrongs after he lets loose a curse, and discovers a lot about who she is along the way.

We can’t wait to have “How Far I’ll Go” in our heads all over again.

(featured image: Disney)

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Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.