It looks like Disney has to find a different princess for one of its upcoming projects, as Auli’i Cravalho has revealed she won’t reprise her role as Moana in the upcoming live-action adaptation. Through a video shared on social media, the actress mentioned that she was in complete support of the upcoming movie’s initiative to shine the spotlight on a more diverse cast, honoring the cultural roots portrayed in the 2016 animated feature. The decision will allow the studio to give a faithful portrayal to the character due to the fact that her identity and background is crucial to Moana’s journey.
The new iteration of the project was recently announced by Dwayne Johnson, who is expected to return in the role of Maui after voicing the character in the original film. The actor will achieve the rare feature of playing a character in both the animated and live-action depictions of the same, bringing an interesting perspective to the story fans already love. After the release of Black Adam, and the subsequent decision by DC Films to take a break on the character for now, Johnson has been busy planning which high-profile projects will feature him over the next few years of his career.
The new casting will be a positive step forward, after the studio faced controversy due to how they handled the cast of the upcoming live-action version of Lilo & Stitch. After selecting Sydney Agudong to play the role of Nani, Lilo’s sister and guardian, the studio faced some backlash due to how the actress doesn’t look like the animated counterpart. While that might be irrelevant with most characters, in a story based on specific culture, where the characters are directly tied to their ethnicity and what it represents, it’s rather disrespectful to cast someone who fails to portray the culture in question.
What Is Moana About?
As one of the strongest productions to come out of Disney Animation Studios during recent years, Moana is about a young woman’s journey to find out who she is, and what her place in her family’s legacy can be. Maui steals the Hear of Te Fiti, a magical stone that keeps life in the ecosystem in order. Without it, every island in the sea is filled with darkness and turned to ash, and it is up to Moana to recover the heart and stop darkness from taking over the entire known world. To the tune of songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the girl and the demi-god star in an unforgettable adventure.