Dwayne Johnson announces a live-action reimagining of Disney’s animated classic

Dwayne Johnson proudly announces Disney’s live-action Moana, bringing the mana, spirit, and magic of the original to a new medium.

Moana, Dwayne Johnson, Disney

You’re welcome, Disney fans! A live-action reimagining of Moana is in development! Dwayne Johnson revealed plans for the project today in a recorded message from Hawaii. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger shared the announcement during The Walt Disney Company’s Meeting of Shareholders Webcast.

Through their Seven Bucks Productions and Beau Flynn via Flynn Picture Co, Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia produce the live-action Moana. Executive producers include Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 film, and Scott Sheldon of Flynn Picture Co. Jared Bush and Samoan. Dana Ledoux Miller will also take part in the production. Bush, a director and co-writer of Disney’s Oscar-winning feature Encanto and a writer and co-director of Disney’s Oscar-winning film Zootopiawrote the screenplay for 2016’s Moana.

According to Disney’s official press release for the live-action Moana, the film celebrates the islands, communities, and traditions of Pacific Islanders, as seen through the eyes of a young woman eager to pave her own path. Moana’s journey of self-discovery and reflection on the lives of her ancestors won hearts worldwide, as did her newfound friendship with an exiled demigod named Maui.

Johnson, thrilled to return to the world of Moanasaid, “I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen. This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength. I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui, inspired by the mana and spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep form. I want to thank my partners at Disney for their strong commitment to this special endeavor, because there is no better world for us to honor the story of our people, our passion and our purpose than through the realm of music and dance, which is at the core of who we are as Polynesian people.”

Native Hawaiian actor Cravalho, who helped shape Moana in the original film, said the beloved protagonist’s reach is sweeping. “She has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses,” Cravalho said. “Moana’s strength and perseverance are inspiring—to audiences around the world, to me and to everyone who helped bring her to life. I’m looking forward to sharing her story in a whole new way.”

Another live-action remake of a Disney animated classic? Is the Mouse getting out of control, or have we reached a point in remake history where it takes no time to adapt a story to a different medium? disney released Moana in 2016, leaving seven years between the original film and today’s announcement. I say bring it on! There’s a reason these movies resonate with audiences as they do. For all its faults, Disney is making strides toward representing more cultures in its content. Moana is an integral part of that directive. Let’s go!