Disney has had lots of success with its live-action reimagining of its animated classics, with “Cinderella”, “Beauty and The Beast” and “Aladdin” all being huge hits.

One of the many projects in development at Disney is the live-action remake of “Moana”, which will bring to life in a whole new way the story of a young woman eager to pave her own path. Celebrating the islands, communities and traditions of Pacific Islanders in a spectacular adventure.   In the original movie, Moana, who is the daughter of Chief Tui, embarks on a journey to return the heart of goddess Te Fitti from Maui, a demigod, after the plants and the fish on her island start dying due to a blight.

The new series will star 17-year-old Catherine Laga‘aia in the title role of “Moana.” It will also star New Zealander John Tui, who will play the role of Moana’s no-nonsense father, Chief Tui; Samoan-New Zealand actress Frankie Adams will portray Moana’s playful and strong-willed mother, Sina; and Rena Owen, who hails from the Bay of Islands, NZ, was cast as the revered Gramma Tala.

This is in addition to Dwayne Johnson, who voiced larger-than-life demigod Maui in the 2016 animated version of the film, who will reprise his role.

“Moana” will be directed by Thomas Kail, who previously directed the Disney+ recording of “Hamilton” and some episodes of the recent Hulu/Star Original series “We Were The Lucky Ones.”

Dwayne Johnson took to social media today to confirm that production is set to begin in August on the live-action remake of the classic animated movie, “Moana”.

Exciting and inspiring casting news as we begin to bring together our Live Action MOANA Family.


And yours truly, as the demigod ~ MAUI🪝

It’s our deepest honor to share the legends, songs, dances and traditions of our Polynesian culture with all of you and your families around the world.

Production begins this August.

~ Maui🪝

In theaters JULY 10, 2026!

Directed by Thomas Kail
Music by Lin Manuel Miranda

The new “Moana” film is going to be produced by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia via their Seven Bucks Productions and Beau Flynn via FlynnPictureCo. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the original songs, will also serve as producer. Executive producers include Scott Sheldon of FlynnPictureCo and Charles Newirth.  Auli‘i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 film, will also be an executive producer on the new live-action film.

Jared Bush and Dana Ledoux Miller have been tapped for the project. Bush, a veteran of Disney Animation, wrote the screenplay for 2016’s “Moana,” and Miller is a Samoan writer who created Netflix’s “Thai Cave Rescue” and co-founded the non-profit Pasifika Entertainment Advancement Komiti (PEAK).

The upcoming live-action remake will be released in cinemas on July 10th 2026.  The animated movie is available to stream now on Disney+, and the animated sequel, “Moana 2”, will be out in cinemas this coming Thanksgiving.

Are you looking forward to watching a live-action version of “Moana”?  Let me know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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