- Dwayne Johnson will reprise his role as Maui in the live-action remake of Moana.
- The film will be directed by Thomas Kail and will feature Lin-Manuel Miranda working on new original music for the live-action version.
- Disney’s live-action remakes have been successful but have faced criticism and high budgets.
Dwayne Johnson, the former wrestler-turned-Hollywood superstar, is set to star in the live-action remake of Moana, playing the Polynesian demigod Maui once again. Disney announced the project earlier this year, following the success of the animated movie, as part of their ongoing efforts to reimagine classic animated films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid into live-action versions.
Although some of Johnson’s recent projects have not performed as well as expected, he remains a major box office draw. While making an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Johnson confirmed that his next movie would be the live-action Moana, celebrating the news by singing the song “You’re Welcome” with the host.
In addition to Johnson, the film will be directed by Thomas Kail, with Lin-Manuel Miranda returning to work on the music, likely to include new original songs created especially for the live-action version. Kail and Miranda had previously collaborated on the hit musical Hamilton. However, Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the original film, will not return for the upcoming remake.
Disney’s strategy of turning their animated classics into live-action films has been successful but not without controversy. Live-action remakes like The Lion King and Pinocchio have received mixed critical responses, while others like Maleficent and Cruella have offered new takes on the original stories. One issue is the budget: the high costs of translating animated magic into live-action often make it difficult for these movies to recover their investment and turn a profit. Moana’s live-action remake may face a similar challenge, particularly as the original animated film featured cutting-edge technology to realistically portray water and its movements.