Moana Live-Action Movie Preview

Get all the information about the live-action adaptation of the Disney hit!

by Jonas Reichel on March 15, 2024

Summer, sun and sea: a movie that feels like a vacation. Not only did Disney's "Moana" look fantastic in 2016, it also won over a huge audience with its moving story. The young Moana's journey grossed almost 700 million dollars globally and was also nominated for two Oscars. Disney now wants to replicate this success: First, a sequel to the animated adventure is coming out at the end of the year, but the original story is also set to return to theaters in 2025 - as a new live-action film adaptation! Find out all the exciting details about the planned "Moana" remake in this article!

Image of MOANA Live-Action Remake Preview (2026) Dwayne Johnson Returns As Maui!

What's Moana About?

The story of Disney's "Moana" tells of the strong-willed title character who leaves her home island to find a solution to a plague that is threatening her country. She is supported by two animal companions: the rooster Hei Hei and the pet pig Pua. During her journey, she meets the demigod Maui, experiences all kinds of magical encounters and learns valuable lessons about life.

Familiar and New Faces

Lead actress Auli'i Cravalho took on the role of Moana at the tender age of 14 and was the first teenager ever to voice a Disney princess - who also happens to be the first Polynesian princess in Disney history. Fans were already speculating whether Cravalho might reprise her role for the live-action remake. The actress commented on this via Instagram and dashed fans' hopes. She explained that she couldn't wait to find the next actress to portray Moana's courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength. She also promised to support the open casting for the role. As a producer, she would pay particular attention to further strengthening the representation of queer and indigenous communities.

Well, as of January 2024, we have a new Moana confirmed! In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Dwayne Johnson revealed that the worldwide casting had resulted in a promising cast for the princess. However, it is not yet possible to reveal which actress is involved. But since the movie is due to start production this year, it shouldn't take too much longer until we find out.

Speaking of Dwayne Johnson: On April 3, 2023, in a heart-warming announcement video on his X account, Dwayne Johnson shared the happy news that he will be reprising his role as Maui in the live-action film adaptation. The video, which shows Johnson and his daughters on an idyllic beach in Hawaii, suggests that the project has a personal meaning for the Hollywood star. He cites his grandfather, Samoan wrestling chief Peter Maivia, as the source of inspiration for the role of the charismatic demigod.


The highly anticipated project will be directed by Thomas Kail, whose previous experience includes the musical "Hamilton". Jared Bush, who wrote the original movie and other animated movies such as "Zootopia" and "Encanto", will be in charge of writing the script.

Of course, music will also play a major role. However, it remains unclear whether the remake will also contain a number of new songs. Based on the previous Disney live-action adaptations, though, we can certainly assume so. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind "Hamilton" and therefore already well acquainted with the director, is responsible for the creative direction of the music. He has also already occupied the same role in Disney's "Encanto".

We are particularly excited about the breathtaking Hawaiian scenery: white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water and exotic plants - here, reality can compete with the fantasy of the animated version.

Whether the remake of "Moana" can keep up with the original will become apparent in just over a year's time: the live-action version is scheduled for release in theaters on June 27, 2025.