Live-Action Moana To Be Helmed By Hamilton & In The Heights Broadway Director

Disney’s live-action Moana found its director with Hamilton and In The Heights‘ Broadway director Thomas Kail. The 2016 animated Disney musical saw Auli’i Cravalho’s titular character embark on a perilous journey across the ocean with Dwayne Johnson’s demigod Maui to return a powerful stone to its rightful owner and save her island home. Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda produced the movie’s original songs. In April 2023, Cravalho and Johnson announced they would produce a new live-action adaptation, with the Maui actor confirmed to reprise his role.


As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Miranda’s Broadway collaborator Kail is set to take the director’s chair for the feature film. Kail directed both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Miranda’s acclaimed musicals In The Heights and Hamilton and is set to direct a remake of the 1971 period musical Fiddler on the Roof.

Related: Moana Live-Action Remake Confirmed – Cast, Story Details & Everything We Know

Who Is Returning To Bring Moana Into Live-Action?

Moana looking confused and gesturing with her arm.

With Disney set to bring Moana‘s beloved story from animation into live-action just over seven years after the film first hit theatres, the upcoming remake will have several creatives from the original film return. While Cravalho and Johnson will guide the production as producers, Moana screenwriter Jared Bush is confirmed to return to write the remake’s story. Johnson’s production company Seven Bucks Productions will work alongside Flynn Pictures Co. to develop the live-action adaptation.

While Johnson will reprise his role of Maui, Cravalho, who originally voiced Moana, confirmed that she will stand aside for a new star to take on the titular role. Cravalho explained she wouldn’t portray Moana in live-action as she hopes to find an actor that would more accurately reflect the character and looked forward to passing the baton to the next star. Furthermore, no other original cast members have been confirmed to reprise their roles in the live-action remake outside of Johnson.

While the timing of a live-action Moana remake is still debated amongst audiences, Kail’s hiring could provide insight into who else could return to help develop the film. With the director having previously developed two musicals alongside Miranda, the songwriter could likely return to pen new recordings of the original film’s songs. Furthermore, Kail is an acclaimed director in his own right due to his work on Hamilton, so the director’s presence could help Moana‘s live-action reimagining stand out alongside its animated source material.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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