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Disney Greenlights ‘Moana’ Live-Action Film Produced by Dwayne Johnson

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Most of the names associated with the award-winning film, including titular voice actor Auli‘i Cravalho, will lend their services for the anticipated production.

Another beloved Disney film is getting the live-action treatment. On Monday, the company announced the 2016 hit film Moana will be reimagined with real-life characters.

Of course, Disney tapped one of the biggest movie stars and an actor in the animated version to share the news: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who voiced demi-god Maui. According to the wrestler-turned-thespian, Maui was inspired by Johnson’s late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia. The 50-year-old’s mother is of Samoan descent.

“We are so excited and happy to announce that a live-action reimagining of ‘Moana’ is in the works,” Johnson said in a video posted to his socials.

Joined by his daughters, Johnson added that the project is still in preliminary talks. 

“It’s still very early in the process. There’s so much more work to be done. But until then, there is one more thing that I need to kick this journey off right. Girls do want to get that special thing that Daddy needs?” he continued as they brought him Maui’s staff. “Wow, you guys are daddy’s daughters. You are so strong.”

Per the release, Johnson and business partner Dany Garcia’s production company, Seven Bucks Productions, will back the flick. Auli‘l Cravalho, the voice of the cartoon teenage heroine, will serve as executive producer. While no director has been confirmed, original screenwriter Jared Bush is also lending his talents alongside Dana Ledoux Miller, who is also of Samoan heritage. No word on who will play the titular character, or the rest of the supporting cast.

When Moana opened in theaters in 2016, it went on to gross nearly $644 million worldwide. It also picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Movie, losing to Zootopia. Its corresponding soundtrack won a Grammy and a Billboard Music Award. It was also one of the top 15 movies streamed in the US last year.

A tentative release date for the remake has not been revealed. 

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.