Speaking at the WWE WrestleMania 40 Kickoff event in Las Vegas, Dwayne Johnson shared with ET’s Nischelle Turner that the search for Moana ended, and an actress was selected to bring the character to life once again — but he stopped short of revealing her identity.
During the conversation, Johnson gave fans updates about the upcoming live-action adaptation of the film, saying:
“One of the exciting things about that was actually finding our Moana and how exciting that has been. The global search to find our Moana — which — between you and me, we found her — not gonna tell you yet. [It’s] very exciting.”
Walt Disney Pictures is developing the adaptation, with Johnson not only reprising his role as Maui but also producing alongside Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Beau Flynn. Jared Bush, who contributed to the screenplay of the original animated feature, is on board to write the live-action version.
Johnson, who has a deep connection to the story due to his Polynesian heritage, revealed other names from the team:
“Lin Manuel Miranda’s coming back. We’re doing the music. Tommy Kail, who directed ‘Hamilton,’ is our director. You put everybody together, and you want to put the best team together, and then you really go for it.”
Johnson decided to keep the new Moana’s identity under wraps, which caused speculation for those eager to see who would step into Auli’i Cravalho’s shoes. Cravalho, who lent her voice to the animated Moana in the 2016 film, will not return in the role but is involved as an executive producer.
A ‘Moana’ Sequel is Also On the Way
Scheduled for a June 27, 2025 release, the live-action ‘Moana’ faces high expectations, as Johnson hints at a production scale that honors the original’s visual and emotional impact.
This project, however, is not the only Moana-related venture on the horizon. Disney has also announced an animated sequel to ‘Moana,’ set to premiere on November 27, 2024.
As Disney continues to expand its universe, the upcoming live-action ‘Moana’ and its animated sequel are not the only projects on the way. ‘Zootopia 2’ and ‘Frozen 3’ are also in the pipeline. You can read more about the latest updates about Disney’s release plans here.