Dwayne Johnson Reveals Live-Action ‘Moana’ Starts Production Next Month

The live-action adaptation of “Moana” is set to begin production in August, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed on Friday. Johnson announced the news in an Instagram post that featured Catherine Laga’aia as Moana, John Tui as Chief Tui, Frankie Adams as Sina and Rena Owen as Grandma Tala. Johnson will reprise his role as Maui for the second time, having played the demigod in “Moana” and this Thanksgiving’s “Moana 2.”

“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,” Johnson wrote. “Production begins this August.” The live-action “Moana” is set to debut in theaters on June 27, 2025.

Disney announced the cast on June 12. Laga’aia said in a statement at the time, “I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites. My grandfather comes from Fa‘aala, Palauli, in Savai‘i. And my grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa. I’m honored to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples, and to represent young girls who look like me.”

In January, the original “Moana” Auli’i Cravalho explained why she isn’t returning to play the character in the live-action film. “It feels really important to me to pass the baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent, and I say that with my whole chest,” she explained.

“I have been invited, and I exist in these beautiful AAPI spaces, Asian American Pacific Islander, and I am one of the few Pacific Islanders. And I’ll say it again, I am one of the few Pacific Islanders. And our stories are so important to be told.”

“We are used. And I want to tell our own stories. I want to be behind the camera as much as I am in front of it,” Cravalho shared. “When I talk about representation, I want to see the same thing happening in writers’ rooms. I want to see the same thing happening with directors. And Taika Waititi talks about this as well, I want to see showrunners who are also of indigenous descent telling their own stories.”

She continued, “And if it has to start with me — I’m 23, but if it starts with me, so be it. I want that door to swing wide open, and I cannot wait to meet the next Moana.” Cravalho will be an executive producer on the new film.

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