‘Moana 2’ Set at Disney With Surprise 2024 Release Date

The line where the sky meets the sea is calling Moana once again. Disney announced a sequel to “Moana,” which will be released theatrically on Nov. 27.

The company’s CEO Bob Iger revealed the news on CNBC ahead of Disney’s first quarter of fiscal 2024 earnings report. The second “Moana” was originally developed as a TV series but became a feature film because Iger was impressed with the footage.

More from Variety

“’Moana’ remains an incredibly popular franchise,” Iger said in a statement. “We can’t wait to give you more of Moana and Maui when ‘Moana 2’ comes to theaters this November.”

According to Disney, “Moana 2” will take audiences on an “expansive new voyage with Moana, Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers. After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.”

Dave Derrick Jr. is directing the sequel, with music from the duo of Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, as well as Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina, who worked on the first film. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote “How Far I’ll Go” and “You’re Welcome,” isn’t expected to return with new songs for the follow-up.

“Moana” became a success for Disney, generating more than $680 million at the box office. The animated musical found renewed life on Disney+ with 1 billion hours streamed last year.

Iger’s decision to put “Moana 2” in theaters follows Disney’s rough 2023 at the box office. Disney Animation’s “Wish” joined a long line of misfires, including “The Marvels,” “Haunted Mansion” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Pixar’s “Elemental” struggled to start but ultimately rebounded with $496 million globally.

THE OCEAN CALLS -- Walt Disney Animation Studios’ epic, all-new animated musical “Moana 2” takes audiences on an expansive new voyage with Moana, Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers. The follow-up to 2016’s Oscar®-nominated film opens in theaters on Nov. 27, 2024. © 2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
First-look image at “Moana 2.”

“Moana 2” is separate from the studio’s live-action remake, which is currently in the works with Dwayne Johnson back as the tattooed demigod Maui. Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 film, is expected to reprise her role in the animated sequel. But she will not return as the titular character in the live-action version, though she will serve as an executive producer.

“I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell,” she said last May on Instagram. “I can’t wait to find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.