Disney’s announcement of the live-action adaptation of Moana has sparked excitement among fans. Many were hoping that Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the character in the original animated film, would reprise her role in the live-action version. However, Cravalho herself stated that she felt she was not the right fit for the role in a live-action setting. Instead, a new lead actress has been confirmed for the role.

The role of Moana will now be played by Catherine Laga’aia. In a press release, Laga’aia expressed her excitement about taking on the character, stating that Moana is one of her favorite characters. She also shared her personal connection to the story, as her grandfather is from Fa’aala Palauli in Savai’i, and her grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of Upolu in Samoa. Laga’aia is thrilled to represent Samoa and the Pacific Islanders in this role and to showcase young girls who look like her on the big screen.

Aside from the lead role of Moana, other key cast members have also been announced. Dwayne Johnson will reprise his role as Maui, John Tui will play Moana’s father, Frankie Adams will portray her mother Sina, and Rena Own will take on the role of Gramma Tala. The film is set to begin filming this summer to meet its scheduled release date of July 10, 2026. In the meantime, fans can look forward to the sequel to the animated film, Moana 2, set to be released on November 28, 2024, with Auli’i Cravalho returning to voice Moana once again.

Overall, the live-action adaptation of Moana is shaping up to be an exciting project with a talented cast that will bring the beloved characters to life in a new way. Fans of the original film and newcomers alike can look forward to a fresh take on the story that celebrates culture, representation, and the spirit of adventure. Stay tuned for more updates as the film progresses towards its highly anticipated release date.