Dwayne Johnson announces Moana live-action remake from Disney

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Auli’I Cravalho are expected to return to reprise their roles in a live-action remake of 2016’s Moana. 


Johnson announced the project on Monday, 3 April, during the Disney 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders Webcast. He later also posted a video on his social media. 

Johnson memorably voiced the demigod Maui, who teams up with the titular heroine to save the dying island of Motunui from the wrath of Te Fiti. 

Johnson’s voice performance was critically lauded and Johnson made a habit of showcasing his singing abilities across multiple talk-shows, performing his signature song “You’re Welcome” from the film.

“We are so excited and happy to announce that a live-action reimagining of Moana is in the works,” Johnson said in the video, which saw the actor and his two daughters on a beach in O‘ahu (or a green screen somewhere in California).

“Moana, Grandma Tala, the music, the dance, Te Fiti, Pua the pig, the village, the beautiful, powerful ocean and one more… What’s that guys? Oh, yours truly… Heihei the chicken! Kidding. Heihei is gonna be in it, but of course, Maui will be in it too.”

The actor added: “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.”

Johnson went on to say that he was bringing Maui to life “in the spirit” of his grandfather. 

Moana was a huge box office hit for Disney, grossing $645m (£520m) worldwide. A sequel was long-rumoured but it seems Disney wants to cash in with a live-action film instead. 

maui moana

Dwayne Johnson voiced the demigod Maui in Moana. Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It’s a relatively safe bet for the House of the Mouse; families will likely flock to the cinemas to watch a live-action reimagining of the kids’ favourite film. 

The project currently has no director and no release date, nor is it clear whether the film would go straight to Disney+ or to cinemas. 

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