Disney Has Found Its New ‘Moana’ Star!

Dwayne Johnson Moana live action star
Credit: Disney

Say what you will about Disney’s live-action remakes, but many of them have brought the company considerable success. When you look at the numbers, some of Disney’s highest-grossing movies of all time are not original animated films, but their live-action remakes. This includes¬†The Lion King¬†(2019) and¬†Beauty and the Beast¬†(2017). Now, Disney has set its sight on a live-action Moana.

Beauty and the Beast

Credit: Disney

Related: Best and Worst of Disney Live-Action Remakes So Far

Because of the success of its many live-action films, Disney is not slowing down on turning more classic animated films into live-action ones. The Mouse House is currently hard at work on a live-action remake of its hit 2016 film, Moana.

Moana¬†starred Auli’i Cravalho as Disney’s first Polynesian princess, who sets out on a dangerous journey to restore the heart of Te Fiti and save her family and her people. The film also starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the demigod, Maui.

maui, moana, hei-hei, and pua

Credit: Disney

Disney first announced a live-action¬†Moana¬†remake in April 2023, during its annual shareholders meeting. A short time later, Auli’i Cravalho shared that she would not be returning to bring Moana to life. Dwayne Johnson, however, will be returning to the role of Maui. Lin Manuel Miranda is also confirmed to be returning to help write the music for the film.

But Cravalho’s announcement left many wondering; who will Disney find to play the titular princess?


Credit: Disney

Well, according to Dwayne Johnson, Disney has found its star and things are really moving along!

Johnson shared the news while speaking with Entertainment Tonight at a WWE event being held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas:

“One of the exciting things about that was actually finding our Moana and how exciting that has been,” he told ET. “The global search to find our Moana — which — between you and I, we found her — not gonna tell you yet. [It’s] very exciting.”

“Lin Manuel Miranda’s coming back. We’re doing the music. Tommy Kail is our director, who directed Hamilton,” he said. “You put everybody together and you want to put the best team together and then you really go for it.”

Lin Manuel Miranda Dwayne Johnson Moana

Credit: Lin Manuel Miranda, X 

Related: New Live-Action Moana Set to Break Longstanding Disney Tradition

This is not the only big Moana news making headlines this week. On February 7, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Moana 2 will be coming to theaters nationwide this November! Iger said that the sequel was originally supposed to be a Disney+ series, but they thought it was so good that they decided to turn the show into a feature-length film.

Moana 2

Credit: Disney

However, unlike the live-action remake, Lin Manuel Miranda will not be working on the music for the sequel film.

Disney’s live-action¬†Moana¬†is expected to begin filming later this year. Johnson has said that the new film will hit theaters on June 27, 2025. However, a lot can change between now and then, so it’s possible the release date could change.

Who would you like to see play Moana in the live-action film? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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