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Disney has found their live-action Moana for the upcoming movie - but it's not the voice of the animated movie

There's just no telling how far Disney's live-action Moana actor can go

Moana
Image credit: Walt Disney Animation

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Disney has found it's live-action Moana... but it's not Auliʻi Cravalho, the voice actor of the original Moana animated film who has gone on for a big live-action career with the Mean Girls musical and Amazon's The Power.

Catherine Laga'aia
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios

Instead, 17-year-old Australian actor Catherine Laga'aia has been cast as Moana, to play opposite Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as Maui in the upcoming live-action remake of Moana, currently scheduled for a July 10, 2026 theatrical release.

"I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites," says Laga'aia in the announcement. "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."

The original Moana, Auli‘i Cravalho, previously stated that she wouldn't pursue the live-action role, telling The Wrap "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."

Who is in the live-action Moana cast?

The complete cast of the Moana remake is as follows:

  • Catherine Laga'aia as Moana
  • Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as Maui
  • John Tui as Chief Tui
  • Frankie Adams as Sina
  • Rena Owen as Gramma Tala

Additional actors are yet to be revealed.

"I am thrilled to have met Catherine, Rena, Frankie and John through this casting process," says Moana director Thomas Kal. "I am humbled by this opportunity, and I cannot wait to all be on set together. And there’s no better pair to be in a canoe with than Catherine and Dwayne—actually, trio: Heihei is ready, too."

Production on Disney's live-action Moana is scheduled to begin this summer, for an anticipated July 10, 2026 theatrical debut.


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Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)
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