Fate of Disney’s Live-Action ‘Moana’ Confirmed in Surprise Update

in Disney, Entertainment

Dwayne Johnson in front of Jumanji banner and Maui and Moana from Disney's 'Moana' (2016)

Dwayne Johnson Image Credit: AP

Disney’s live-action Moana film has been given a very exciting update.

Te Fiti rising out of the ocean
Credit: Disney

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According to multiple sources, Disney’s live-action Moana film begins filming this summer. This news comes after the film’s release date was pushed back indefinitely following the surprise announcement of Moana 2 in early 2024.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be reprising his role as Maui for the film, but Auli’i Cravalho will not be reprising Moana. The reason for this decision is unknown, but thankfully, both stars will be producing the film. This live-action version of Moana is expected to be a retelling of the original film and while the decision to recreate a film less than a decade later is quite somewhat confusing, it will undoubtedly be a huge success given Disney’s track record of live-action remakes.

Moana 2 is set to release in November 2024, giving fans just a few months to prepare for Moana’s total takeover in the near future. As we already mentioned, in addition to a live-action, Moana 2 is also happening.

'Moana' series on Disney+
Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Other details regarding the production of the live-action film were revealed as well, with the film’s shooting taking place in O’ahu, Hawaii, as well as Atlanta. Award-winning composer and musical extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda will be returning to write the music for the film.

Thomas Kail will direct, with filming expected to last from June through September.

Moana on a boat wearing a headdress with fellow sailors in the background
Credit: Disney

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Few film series or franchises are as exciting or as interesting as Disney’s Moana brand. What started as a humble little 2016 film released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures turned into a cultural phenomenon, becoming one of The Walt Disney Company’s biggest theatrical hits of all time. The film’s legacy carried on for years thanks to Disney+, where it consistently out-charted other iconic Disney films, series, and other projects. Disney’s Moana franchise expanded well beyond theaters, with the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, getting its very own Moana-inspired attraction. 

A sequel always felt inevitable, with Disney announcing it was developing a Moana series for its streaming platform Disney+. However, Disney also revealed that it was developing a live-action Moana film, sending shockwaves throughout both the Disney and animation communities. What shocked the world even more was Bob Iger’s announcement that the Moana series on Disney+ was getting the theatrical treatment, with the Disney CEO breaking the news that a second Moana film would be hitting theaters in less than a year. What started as a Disney+ original series was reworked into a feature-length film.

While Moana 2 has a release date, the live-action version of the film does not. The original targeted year was 2025, but the film has not been given a definitive release window. Regardless, 2025 is set to be a big year for movies, with The Walt Disney Company being no exception. Pixar’s Elio and Disney’s live-action Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will both be released in 2025 after being delayed.

Are you excited about Moana 2? Are you looking forward to the live-action version?

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