Back to the islands! Dwayne Johnson revealed that a live-action version of Moana is in the works and he will be reprising his role for the Disney film.
“I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen,” the Black Adam star, 50, announced in a video on Monday, April 3, while on the beaches of Hawaii. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Johnson starred in the 2016 animated flick as Maui alongside Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the titular character. The Disney film took inspiration from Polynesian myths as the movie told the story of a girl, who happens to be the daughter of the chief, who must save her people from an environmental disaster caused by the gods. Moana must seek out the help of a demigod named Maui so she can restore the heart of Te Fiti and save her people.
While it has not been confirmed if Cravalho, 22, will reprise her role as well, she has signed on to be one of the executive producers for the remake.
“[Moana] has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses,” Cravalho said on Monday in a statement via Disney. “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.”
When the film premiered nearly seven years ago, it earned $644 million at the global box office. It was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2017 Academy Awards. The soundtrack was penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who earned a Grammy Award and Oscar nomination for his contribution.
Disney has released a series of live-action remakes of their iconic animated movies over the years including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more. Most recently, the studio announced plans for a live-action version of Lilo & Stitch starring Zach Galifianakis and newcomer Maia Kealoha. The project is currently in pre-production.