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Thomas Kail to Direct Live-Action ‘Moana’ Adaptation

The ‘Hamilton’ helmer joins the upcoming remake, starring Dwayne Johnson as the demigod Maui, whom he voiced in the original 3DCG animated film.

You’re welcome! Thomas Kail, director of Broadway’s Hamilton, is set to helm Disney’s upcoming live-action Moana adaptation. Dwayne Johnson will return as the demigod Maui, whom he voiced in the original CG animated film.

Also involved in the production are Samoan industry pro Dana Ledoux Miller, a director/co-writer of Disney’s Oscar-winning feature Encanto, and Jared Bush, writer and co-director of Disney’s Oscar-winning film Zootopia.

Like its animated predecessor, the film will celebrate the islands, communities, and traditions of Pacific Islanders, as seen through the eyes of a young woman eager to pave her own path. Moana’s journey of self-discovery and reflection on the lives of her ancestors won hearts worldwide, as did her newfound friendship with an exiled demigod named Maui.

Moana debuted in theaters November 2016 and, according to the studio, grossed nearly $644 million in global box office and was among the top 15 movies streamed in the United States in 2022. The title debuted on Disney+ with its 2019 launch. In addition, Moana received an Academy Award nomination (best animated feature film), a BAFTA (best animated feature film), and a pair of Golden Globes (best motion picture – animated and best original song (“How Far I’ll Go”)).

Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia produce via their Seven Bucks Productions, and Beau Flynn via Flynn Picture Co., alongside executive producers Auli‘i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 film, and Scott Sheldon of Flynn Picture Co.

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Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.