Disney Animation has had mixed fortunes in recent years thanks to movies like Strange Worlds and Wish, but the studio has just dropped quite the bombshell by announcing that a surprise Moana sequel, Moana 2, will splash down into theaters this November.
There had been talks of a Disney+ TV series (similar to the Big Hero 6 and Cars spin-offs) and it's currently unclear whether those have been turned into a feature or if this big screen follow-up was always planned. Either way, we're sure you'll agree that this is an exciting development.
Walt Disney Company Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger announced the news today, confirming we're finally getting a sequel to the 2016 Oscar-nominated movie. "Moana remains an incredibly popular franchise," he said, "and we can’t wait to give you more of Moana and Maui when 'Moana 2' comes to theaters this November."
Walt Disney Animation Studios' epic animated musical Moana 2 takes audiences on an expansive new voyage with Moana, Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers. After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.
Directed by Dave Derrick Jr. with music by Grammy winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, Grammy nominee Opetaia Foa'i, and three-time Grammy winner Mark Mancina, Moana 2 opens in theaters on November. 27, 2024.
Disney is also developing a live-action Moana which will see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson play a live-action version of Maui. Thomas Kail (Hamilton) is set to direct that project and it's currently set to arrive in theaters on June 27, 2025.
Earlier this year, Moana actress Auli'i Cravalho explained why Disney is seeking a new actress to take on the role and confirmed she has no issue with the decision.
"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 said. "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 added. "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 wanna see showrunners who are also of indigenous descent telling their own stories."
"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," the actress concluded.
Stay tuned for more on Moana 2 as we have it.