In a surprising turn of events, Dwayne Johnson and Walt Disney Pictures are fast-tracking a live-action adaption of their Disney Princess tale Moana. Johnson will reprise his role as Maui.
The original’s not even a decade old, but a remake of the 2016 Disney animated feature, in which Johnson starred alongside newcomer Auli’i Cravalho—who won’t appear in this new version—is in the works, as was just announced during a Disney shareholders meeting with Bob Iger. Johnson announced, “I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen. This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength. I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui, inspired by the mana and spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me. I want to thank my partners at Disney for their strong commitment to this special endeavor, because there is no better world for us to honor the story of our people, our passion and our purpose than through the realm of music and dance, which is at the core of who we are as Polynesian people.”
Watch the announcement video below!
Though Cravalho won’t reprise her role as Moana, the actor will return as one of the new version’s executive produce. “She has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses,” Cravalho said in a Disney press release, speaking about her breakout character. “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.”
There’s no word yet on whether Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Encanto) will come back to add more music, though he’s currently wrapped up with another upcoming Disney project: The Little Mermaid live-action movie.
Stay tuned for more news on Moana here at io9!
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