Dwayne Johnson confirms live-action remake of Moana

Virgin Radio

4 Apr 2023, 09:03

Dwayne Johnson, Maui in Moana

Credit: Getty / Rex

Dwayne Johnson has confirmed there will be a live-action remake of Disney’s Moana. 

The Hollywood star appeared in the 2016 animated adventure as demigod Maui, with Auli’i Cravalho as the titular character, who is chosen to restore the heart of Te Fiti with her mystic relic. 

Confirming the live-action news at the 2023 Disney Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Monday (3rd April), Dwayne announced via a pre-recording message that he'll be reprising his role for the film, which is a project very close to his heart.

Tweeting out the video, Dwayne wrote: “Humbled to say we’re bringing #MOANA’s beautiful story to the live action big screen! #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.”

Dwayne, whose mother is Samoan, revealed during the pre-recorded video why Moana was such a special project for him. 

The actor said in the clip: “Many of you may not know the brilliant team at Disney Animation, my partners, we found so much inspiration for Maui in the mana and the presence of my late grandfather, the legendary High Chief Peter Maivia. 

“When I bring Maui to life, I'm doing it in the spirit of my grandfather. So it's still very early in the process. There's so much more work to be done.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dwayne will not only star but also produce the live-action adventure with his Seven Bucks Productions, while Jared Bush, who wrote the original film, will also write the remake. 

Moana’s voice actress Cravalho will be an executive producer, but a question mark still lands over whether Hamilton icon Lin-Manuel Miranda will have any part in the new soundtrack. 

While waiting to hear more news about Moana, Disney have confirmed they’ve cast the lead actress in their Lilo & Stitch live-action remake, and she’s “the perfect fit”.

The new live-action remake was first announced back in 2020 with a reported budget of $60million. It was also announced that the original voice actor for Stitch, Chris Sanders, would be reprising his role as the cheeky blue alien.