Disney casts Moana lead role in live-action remake

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Disney casts Moana lead role in live-action remakeDisney

Disney has cast a newcomer in the lead role for the Moana live-action remake.

It was announced on the Walt Disney Company's Instagram account on Wednesday (June 12) that Catherine Laga'aia has been cast as the Disney Princess.

This will be Catherine's first major live-action movie role, after previously starring in Sigourney Weaver and Alycia Debnam-Carey's TV series The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart on streaming service Prime Video.

“I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites,” Laga'aia said in a press release.

“My grandfather comes from Fa‘aala, Palauli, in Savai‘i. And my grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa. I’m honored to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples, and to represent young girls who look like me.”

Catherine will be joined in the live-action Moana remake by Dwayne Johnson reprising his role as the demigod Maui, as well as John Tui as Chief Tui, Frankie Adams playing Sina, and Rena Owen as Gramma Tala.


Disney also confirmed on Wednesday that filming on the Moana remake will begin this summer.

Just last month, Dwayne Johnson shared some behind-the-scenes footage of re-recording Maui's song 'You're Welcome' for the remake.

Auli'i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the animated version, is involved as a producer but announced last year she would not appear in the film.

"I am truly honoured to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent to honour our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures, and communities that helped inspire her story, and I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come," she wrote on social media.

"As an executive producer on the film, I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana's courageous spirit, undeniable wit, and emotional strength"

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Auli’i CravalhoMatt Winkelmeyer/GA - Getty Images

Disney is working on an animated Moana 2 alongside the remake, with Cravalho and Johnson both confirmed to be reprising their roles for that sequel.

Moana 2 will be released on November 27, 2024, before the live-action remake arrives on July 10, 2026. The original Moana is available to stream on Disney+.

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