How Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho Are Returning for Live-Action Moana Remake

Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho recently announced the live-action remake of 2016 film Moana with the actor noting that there's still "much more to come."

By Angie Orellana Hernandez Apr 04, 2023 12:14 AMTags
Watch: Dwayne Johnson REVEALS Moana Live-Action Remake

There's just no telling how far our excitement goes for this movie.

Disney's 2016 animated movie Moana will soon return to the screen in live-action format, Walt Disney Studios announced on April 3. And that's not all—Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is set to reprise his role as Maui the demigod, as well as serve as a producer on the film.

Auli'i Cravalho, the original voice of Moana, will also head back to the fictional island of Motunui as an executive producer on the project, according to Deadline.

The project also comes with personal significance for Johnson, whose late grandfather Peter Maivia served as the inspiration for Maui. 

"This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people's grace, mana and warrior strength," Johnson wrote on Instagram April 3. "I wear our culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once in a lifetime opportunity to reunite with MAUI, inspired by the spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me."

Magical Facts About Your Favorite Disney Films

As for what fans can expect from the live-action remake, Johnson noted there's still "much more to come," but teased that the project will tell a story through "the realm of music and dance, which at the core is who we are as Polynesian people."

The original 2016 film followed Moana, the daughter of a village chief who sets on a high-stake quest with Maui across the ocean to save her island.

Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Cravalho, who is not yet confirmed to reprise her role as Moana, also penned her a message of excitement for movie, noting that it's been "whispered about for years!"

"Moana has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses," she wrote on Instagram April 3. "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."

Keep scrolling to see which more of your favorite Disney animated movies will be live-action films.


Disney revealed Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho are returning for a live-action version of Moana after starring in the original in 2016.

Lilo and Stitch

Disney cast Maia Kealoha, a young actress from Hawaii, to play Lilo, The Hollywood Reporter revealed in March 2023.

Lion King

Barry Jenkins recently gave a first look at his Lion King spinoff movie Mufasa: Lion King, which is expected to drop in 2024 following the 2019 remake of the original movie. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will reprise their roles of Timon and Pumbaa, Jenkins said at D23 in 2022.

"Mufasa was actually an orphaned cub who had to navigate the world alone by himself," Jenkins said, "and in telling this story, we get to experience the real journey of how Mufasa found his place in the circle of life."

Little Mermaid

Fans will go under the sea on May 26, 2023 with the new movie, starring Halle Bailey along with Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy.

Snow White

Heigh Ho! Expected out in 2024 is a remake of the 1937 classic, starring West Side Story's Rachel Zegler and Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot.


Questlove is directing the remake about the French cat clan, Deadline reported in March 2023.

101 Dalmatians

The villain-centric spinoff Cruella (2021) is getting a sequel, also starring Emma Stone, per Entertainment Tonight.


Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo are directing the live-action adaptation of the 1997 film with Guy Ritchie. Joe told Variety in November 2022 that their version will be "a little bit more experimental in tone, a little bit more experimental in execution."

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

In 2019, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the studio is creating a Hunchback remake with Frozen's Josh Gad and writer David Henry Hwang.


In 2020, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that Disney hired Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) and Lindsey Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) to write a script for a Bambi movie.

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