AceShowbiz - "Moana" is set to sail off again. Disney has greenlit a live-action remake of the 2016 hit animated musical fantasy movie with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reprising his role as shapeshifting demigod Maui.
The wrestler-turned-actor and Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the project at Disney's annual shareholders meeting Monday, April 3. "This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people's grace and warrior strength," Johnson said in front of stakeholders. "I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui, inspired by the mana and spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me."
The 50-year-old hunk also shared the news to his followers via a video posted on his Instagram account. Enlisting the help of his two younger daughters, Jasmine and Tiana, he explained how deep the story is for him in the video, which was filmed in Hawaii. "Because, in a way, when I bring Maui to life, I'm doing it in the spirit of my grandfather," he said of voicing his character.
Toward the end of the video, he noted that "it's still very early in the process" and "there's so much more work to be done." He added in the caption, "This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people's grace, mana and warrior strength."
"I wear our culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once in a lifetime opportunity to reunite with MAUI, inspired by the spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me," Johnson continued. "We're honored to partner with @DisneyStudios to tell our story through the realm of music and dance, which at the core is who we are as Polynesian people."
In addition to starring in it, Johnson will produce via his Seven Bucks Productions along with Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia. Beau Flynn produces via Flynn Picture Co. Jared Bush, who wrote the screenplay for the original movie, is back to write the remake, along with Dana Ledoux Miller.
Auli'i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the original film, will executive produce with Scott Sheldon of Flynn Picture Co. She noted in a statement of her own that the character of Moana "has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses. Moana's strength and perseverance are inspiring - to audiences around the world, to me and to everyone who helped bring her to life. I'm looking forward to sharing her story in a whole new way."
No director is attached to the project at this stage of development. It's also unknown if Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote songs for the animated film, will be involved in the live-action remake. No release date is set just yet for the new "Moana" movie.
The original "Moana" was a hit with audiences and critics, grossing over $665 million worldwide. It received two Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song ("How Far I'll Go").