Last month, Disney announced a live-action adaption of the hit Hawaian animated film Moana was put into development with Dwayne Johnson returning as Maui. Many wondered if original voice star Auli’i Cravalho would also return to play the role as she is also producing the film. Unfortunately, she is in her mid-20s now, and the studio is looking for a teenage actress to portray the character in the film. Auli’i Cravalho wrote in a statement:
“When I was cast as Moana at 14 it wonderfully changed my life and started my career. In this live-action retelling I will not be reprising the role. I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell. So, as an executive producer on the film, I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength. I am truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent, to honor our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures and communities that helped inspire her story. And I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come.”
Shortly after the actress revealed she would not be returning, the studio put out an open casting call for the character:
MOANA – (female, 14-18) Smart, passionate, and funny. Brave, inquisitive, and confident. A teenager who yearns for something more. Strong singing voice a must.”
Production is expected to begin later this year in Hawaii. However, no director has been attached yet to the film.
Moana will hit theaters sometime in 2025
.@DisneyStudios is searching for Pacific Islander / Pasifika actors who can sing to play Moana in the live-action adaptation of @DisneyMoana! No acting experience required. Submissions, questions and inquiries must be sent to Moana.firstname.lastname@example.org. pic.twitter.com/mZQV2i50RE
— CAPE—Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (@CAPEUSA) May 19, 2023