The Rock Says The Live-Action MOANA Movie Starts Filming Later This Year; Lin Manuel Miranda Will Return

The Rock Says The Live-Action MOANA Movie Starts Filming Later This Year; Lin Manuel Miranda Will Return

Reports recently indicated that the decision to turn the Moana animated series into a theatrical sequel would delay the live-action movie however, The Rock has indiacted that's not the case.

By MarkJulian - Feb 12, 2024 08:02 PM EST
Filed Under: Disney
Source: Entertainment Tonight

An animated Moana series for Disney+ has been in development for quite some time.

But it seems Disney reviewed the streaming numbers for the first movie on Disney+, where it's always ranked near the top, and decided that it made more sense for the next project in the franchise to be another movie. 

As such the animated series is being repurposed as an animated movie, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson set to return as the voice of Maui with  Auli'i Cravalho also in talks to return as the voice of the titular heroine.

So where does that leave the recently announced plans for a live-action adaptation of the popular Disney film?

According to The Rock, filming is still set to begin later this year. He says they've also found an actress to portray the live-action Moana in the project (Auli'i Cravalho previously stated that she's too old now) but that they don't want to reveal her identity at this time.

"Lin Manuel Miranda's coming back. We're doing the music. Tommy Kail is our director, who directed Hamilton," he said while speaking to Entertainment Tonight. "You put everybody together and you want to put the best team together and then you really go for it."

When asked when cameras would roll, The Rock revealed he's "excited" to start shooting later this year while also touching on the global search to find the young actress to star alongside him.

"One of the exciting things about that was actually finding our Moana and how exciting that has been. The global search to find our Moana -- which -- between you and I, we found her -- not gonna tell you yet. [It's] very exciting."

As far as returning for Moana 2 (which it sounds as if The Rock is definitely on board), Johnson stated, "It's very exciting. I can't wait for fans to see the film, the technology, the effects, cutting edge. We all really went for it. We thought if we're gonna make a sequel to something so beloved, let's really go for it."

He continued, "You also have the benefit and the beauty of the ocean. In Moana... the ocean is alive, so when the ocean has a heartbeat and a pulse, that's just a whole different thing. I can't wait. All new music, which we're excited."

Released in 2016, Moana went on to gross $682 million worldwide from a production budget of $150 million. It's also one of the most popular streaming titles on Disney+.

Moana 2 arrives in North American theaters on November. 27, 2024. The live-action Moana movie currently has a release date of June 27, 2025. 

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