Catherine Laga’aia To Star As Moana In The Live-Action Adaptation Of The Disney Film
Catherine Laga’aia To Star As Moana In The Live-Action Adaptation Of The Disney Film (Photo Credit –Youtube)

Disney has found its new Moana! 17-year-old actress Catherine Laga’aia has been confirmed to play the titular role in the live-action adaptation of the hit animated film. The newcomer will be joining Dwayne Johnson, who reprises his role as Maui, the demigod, from the animated franchise.

Meanwhile, Auli‘i Cravalho, who voices the animated character, is reported to be mentoring Catherine for the role. The live-action Moana film was announced in April last year and has already set a release date. The movie is all set to begin production this summer.

Meet Catherine Laga’aia, the New Moana

Catherine Laga’aia hails from Sydney, Australia. Moana will mark her film debut as the actress follows in her father, Jay Laga’aia’s footsteps, who is an actor himself and played Captain Gregar Typho in the Star Wars prequel films. Catherine expressed her excitement after being announced as the lead of the film with a statement: “I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites. 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 actress said.

The Rest of the Cast of Moana has also been Announced

With the confirmation of Catherine Laga’aia as the lead, Disney also announced the supporting cast of the live-action film. Power Rangers S.P.D. actor John Tui has been cast as Chief Tui, Moana’s father, and The Expanse star Frankie Adams is set to play Sina, Moana’s mother, while Once Were Warriors actress Rena Owen will be essaying the role of Gramma Tala.

Dwayne Johnson will be producing the project apart from starring in it as Maui. Joining him as producers are Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Beau Flynn, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Auli‘i Cravalho, the voice of the animated Moana, will be executive producing the project along with Scott Sheldon and Charles Newirth.

Moana is Slated to be Released in 2026

The live-action Moana is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 10, 2026. The film will follow Moana, a strong-willed girl from a coastal village in ancient Polynesia, who sets out on an adventure to pave her own path in life. The movie promises to celebrate the communities and traditions of Pacific Islanders.

Moana is helmed by Thomas Kail, who earlier co-directed the television musical film Grease Live! The screenplay is written by Jared Bush and Dana Ledoux Miller. Bush also penned the screenplay of the original animated Moana, while Miller previously co-created the Netflix series Thai Cave Rescue.

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