Moana Live Action Adaptation — A Brief Look to its Story and Cast

Our beloved Polynesian Disney Princess of the sea is finally getting her live action adaptation!

Photo from Disney

In April 2023, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced in his Instagram account that the animated Disney movie Moana will be getting its live adaptation that will be released for the big screen.

The Story

Photo from Disney

The animated story revolves around the life of Moana. Her adventurous urge to venture to the sea, her meeting with the once-mighty demigod Maui who guided her to become a master way-finder in the seas. The movie also iterated Moana’s perilous journey with the demigod across the vast expanse of the ocean. Ultimately, at the end of the journey, Moana finds what she sought the most: her own identity.

Apparently, the live action adaptation will follow the original course of the original animated movie. The original writer of the story Jared Bush will reinstate himself to write the adaptation along with Dana Ledoux Miller. 

Nonetheless, a recent press conference revealed the thoughts of the production team in retelling the box-office hit Disney movie, “Moana will bring to life in a whole new way the story of a young woman eager to pave her own path.” 

Photo from Disney

The Cast

Contrary to the expectation of many, Auli’i Cravalho who was the voice of Moana in the 2016 movie will not be reprising her role as the titular princess in the live adaptation, but the actress will still be playing a hand in the team as one of the executive producers. However, the production team has recently revealed the main cast for the adaptation.


In June 2024, the production team of the adaptation revealed that the Sydney, Australia native Catherine Laga’aia will play the role of Moana.


The original voice actor of the demigod Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will reprise his role as Maui in the upcoming live adaptation of the movie

Additionally, Chief Tui who was Moana’s father was revealed to be casted by John Tui, Moana’s mother, Sina on the other hand will be played by actress Frankie Adams. Lastly, Moana’s iconic grandmother Gramma Tala will be played by the veteran actress Rena Owen.

Funnily enough, in the Tiktok platform, we can see Bretman Rock who is a famous online celebrity and personality is trying to get the role of Moana’s favorite chicken pet, Heihei and the Moana fans are getting crazy over it!

— The production of the film will surely be a challenge to the production team, since the story revolves around an ocean setting. However, Disney has proven themselves to be good with water-like CGI and special effects in the Black Panther movie. Hence, let us just hope that Disney will be able to deliver the adaptation well. The film is set to be released on the 10th of July 2026.

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Lenie Lañojan
Lenie Lañojan

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