‘Moana’ Live Action in the Work with Dwayne Johnson Reprising His Role!!

Disney is officially sailing back to Polynesia with a new live-action adaptation of their 2016 hit film Moana. During the company’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders Webcast, Dwayne Johnson gave the word that the project was underway with a new video from Hawaii during which he also unveiled he’d be reprising his role as Maui, Moana’s demigod traveling companion. In his words, the film is “very early in the process” with much to be done until we can sail the seas once again.

Featuring then-newcomer Auliʻi Cravalho in the lead role, Moana followed the adventurous teen and daughter of the Polynesian chief as she attempted to save her people after being chosen by the ocean itself. With help from Maui, she learns to navigate the ocean and become a master wayfinder, all while determining her own identity in the process. It featured a strong ensemble cast with Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jermaine Clement, Nicolle Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk joining Johnson and Cravalho as well as a number of memorably catchy songs including the Emmy-nominated “How Far I’ll Go” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Humbled to say we’re bringing #MOANA’s beautiful story to the live-action big screen!” Johnson‘s Tweet with the video read. “#MAUI changed my life (miss you grandpa) and I’m honored to partner with @DisneyStudios to tell our story thru the realm of music & dance, which at the core is who we are as Polynesian people.” From the video, it’s clear that everything that made Moana such a classic sea-faring adventure will be present in the live-action remake, from the massive creatures and gods to the adorable pet rooster Heihei. It also has Jared Bush, who wrote the screenplay for the original, returning to pen the screenplay while Johnson and Cravalho both executive produce.

Moana Continues to Expand Beyond Its Original Animated Seas

With the live-action remake, Disney is continuing to grow Moana beyond the original film directed by John Musker and Ron Clements and written by the pair alongside Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, and Jordan Kandell. A television series is also slated at Disney+ to continue the events of the film with David G. Derrick Jr. at the helm, marking one of the few occasions in which Walt Disney Animation itself has handled a television series. It’s clear the House of Mouse sees the film has potential for greater things, especially considering the film scored $665 million at the box office, and it’s widely considered one of the best modern films from the company.

A live-action Moana film still seems a little out of place among Disney‘s other shot-for-shot remakes. While those have tackled classic titles like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Pinocchio, Moana is by far the newest of the titles to receive the live-action treatment. It’s a mark of a change in strategy as Disney looks to capitalize on some of the more modern, lucrative titles in their arsenal, paving the way for potential remakes of other hits like Frozen and Tangled in the near future. Aside from Moana, they have two other intriguing live-action films on the docket as well with Lilo and Stitch and the Questlove-directed The Aristocats.

​​​​​​​Watch Johnson‘s announcement video down below.


via Collider

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