Live-Action ‘Moana’ in the Works From Dwayne Johnson, Disney

Live-Action ‘Moana’ in the Works From Dwayne Johnson, Disney

Johnson announced the project during Disney’s shareholders meeting.

Disney has announced plans to collaborate with Dwayne Johnson on a vibrant live-action remake of their 2016 animated musical sensation, “Moana.”

Dwayne Johnson, along with his production company Seven Bucks Productions, will not only star but also produce the live-action remake of “Moana,” reprising his role as the charismatic demigod Maui. The film will also be produced by Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Beau Flynn. Jared Bush, the original film’s screenplay writer, will return to pen the script for the remake, this time collaborating with Dana Ledoux Miller. As of now, no director has been attached to the project during this early stage of development.

“This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength,” said Johnson. “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.”

“Moana” drew its inspiration from Polynesian myths and legends, weaving a captivating tale of a young woman who defies her father, the island’s chief, to embark on a perilous journey. The story revolves around her quest to restore balance to the world by reuniting a magical artifact with its rightful owner, the goddess Te Fiti. In her adventure, she encounters the mighty demigod Maui, who aids her in facing various challenges, including a confrontation with a treacherous crab. Through her trials, the young protagonist discovers her inner strength and ultimately fulfills her destiny as a leader, proving her father’s belief in her capabilities.

Auli’i Cravalho, known for her role as the voice of Moana in the original movie, will take on the role of executive producer alongside Scott Sheldon from Flynn Picture Co.

The acclaimed animated film “Moana” was skillfully directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who collaborated with a talented team of writers including Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, and Jordan Kandell. Jared Bush, credited as the sole screenwriter, played a pivotal role in shaping the screenplay. Their combined efforts resulted in a captivating and widely celebrated story that resonated with audiences worldwide.

The musical brilliance of “Moana” was brought to life through the collaborative efforts of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina. Miranda, known for his remarkable songwriting skills, contributed to the memorable soundtrack with the catchy and showstopping tune “You’re Welcome,” performed by Dwayne Johnson. Additionally, the poignant and empowering song “How Far I’ll Go” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, showcasing the film’s exceptional musical composition.

“Moana” captivated both audiences and critics alike, becoming a box office success with a global revenue of over $665 million. The film’s enchanting storytelling and breathtaking animation led to an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Movie. While it ultimately lost the award to another Disney film, “Zootopia,” “Moana” left an indelible mark as a beloved and critically acclaimed animated masterpiece.

Disney has been at the forefront of the trend to remake its classic animated films into live-action adaptations. This strategy has proven highly successful, with movies like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” surpassing the billion-dollar mark at the box office. Additionally, Disney has received praise for its creative approach to reimagining stories, as seen with the film “Cruella.” However, not all live-action remakes have enjoyed the same level of success, leading to some titles being released on the Disney+ streaming service instead of theaters. The strategy has had its share of both triumphs and disappointments for the studio..

Disney has typically avoided remaking its more recent animated films in live-action, choosing instead to focus on classic and older titles. However, there are now signs that this strategy is evolving, and it may not be long before beloved films like “Frozen” and “Tangled” become targets for live-action adaptations. This shift indicates that Disney is broadening its approach and considering the potential of reimagining more recent and cherished movies from its collection, catering to the expectations and interests of contemporary audiences.

Disney is moving forward with a live-action adaptation of “Lilo & Stitch” despite concerns about fan response due to the relatively short time since the original animated film. However, the studio believes that in today’s fast-paced culture, driven by nostalgia and rapid idea turnover, there is still a market for revisiting recent films like “Lilo & Stitch.” They are confident that even though time has passed, audiences will be intrigued by the story of a girl escaping coconut pirates on a camakau. 

Disney’s successful strategy of remaking its animated classics into live-action films has influenced other studios to explore their own animation libraries for potential live-action remakes. Universal Studios, for example, is following suit by preparing to film a live-action remake of its beloved and widely regarded classic film from 2010, “How to Train Your Dragon.” The studio aims to capture the magic and appeal of the original animated film in a new live-action adaptation.

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