Auliʻi Cravalho Won’t Reprise Titular Role in ‘Moana’ Live-Action, “Cannot Wait” to Help Find New Lead

Auliʻi Cravalho will not be reprising her titular role in Disney’s upcoming Moana live-action film, which will again see Dwayne Johnson take on the role of demigod Maui.

Cravalho took to social media on Friday to announce that she would not be returning to the role in the film but is excited to find the next young woman of Pacific Island descent to lead the remake.

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“When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” she said. “In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role. I believe it is absolutely vital the casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell.”

She continued, “So, as an executive producer on the film, I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength. I’m truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent to honor our incredible peoples, cultures and communities that help inspire her story.”

Johnson announced the Moana remake at Disney’s shareholders meeting in April, explaining that the Polynesian story is personal to him and his people.

“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,” he said.

The retelling of the story marks Disney’s first live-action feature being remade from the 21st century. With the studio’s strategy now changing, it’s possible the company may remake some of its newer animated stories like Frozen and Tangled.

A Lilo & Stitch live-action remake is set to begin production this summer.

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