Dwayne Johnson, popularly known as “The Rock,” announced on Monday last week that a live-action Moana movie is in the works. Johnson, who voiced the character of Maui in the original animated film, will not only star in the live-action adaptation but will also produce it along with Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Beau Flynn. This news was revealed in a pre-recorded message from Hawaii as part of Disney’s annual shareholder meeting led by CEO Bob Iger.
The Original Crew is Back
In addition to the return of Johnson as Maui, the movie will feature the original Moana voice actor, Auli’i Cravalho, as one of the executive producers. Scott Sheldon of Flynn Picture Co. and Jared Bush, the screenwriter of the original Moana movie, and Samoan industry professional Dana Ledoux Miller will also take part in the production, although their exact roles have not yet been announced.
A Thrilling Endeavor
The President of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios, Sean Bailey, stated that Moana is joining the list of Disney animated titles that have been turned into live-action movies, including Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), and forthcoming Little Mermaid, which will hit the theaters on May 26. He 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.”
Live-Action Moana Film Celebrates Pacific Islanders’ Traditions and Communities
The original Moana movie, which was released in November 2016, grossed almost $644 million worldwide and received two Oscar nominations. The movie follows the journey of Moana, a young Pacific Islander, and Maui, a demigod, as they set out on a quest to save Moana’s island from an ancient curse. The live-action adaptation will celebrate the islands, communities, and traditions of Pacific Islanders and will be seen through the eyes of a young woman eager to pave her path.
Honoring His Culture and Late Grandfather
Johnson expressed his deep gratitude and humility for the opportunity to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen. For him, this story is his culture, and he wears it proudly on his skin and soul. He plans to return to the fictional world to set sail with Moana and is inspired by the mana and spirit of his late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia. Johnson said, “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.”
Moana Continues to Inspire
Cravalho, who voiced the character of Moana in the original movie, stated that Moana has had a profound impact on how Disney princesses are perceived. She added, “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.”
The live-action Moana movie is a highly anticipated release that celebrates the traditions, communities, and islands of Pacific Islanders. With Dwayne Johnson returning to the fictional world of Moana as Maui, the movie is set to be a memorable and exciting experience. As we await its release, we can only hope that it will inspire and captivate audiences around the world, just like the original Moana movie did.
In case you missed it, here’s Johnson once again for the announcement.