Disney's Live-Action MOANA Movie Casts Catherine Laga‘aia In The Title Role

Disney's Live-Action MOANA Movie Casts Catherine Laga‘aia In The Title Role

Disney has announced that up-and-coming Australian actress Catherine Laga‘aia has been cast as Moana in the upcoming live-action remake of the beloved animated feature...

By MarkCassidy - Jun 13, 2024 11:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Disney
Source: Via Toonado.com

As we know, Auli'i Cravalho, who voiced the title character in the animated movie, will not be making the jump to live-action, and Disney has now announced that Catherine Laga‘aia will be taking over as Moana in the upcoming remake.

The press release states that the 17-year-old Aussie actress will be voyaging to Motunui and beyond as the adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.

“I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites,” said the up-and-coming star. “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.”

New supporting cast member have also been announced, with Auckland, New Zealander John Tui as Moana’s no-nonsense father, Chief Tui; Samoan-New Zealand actress Frankie Adams portrays Moana’s playful and strong-willed mother, Sina; and Rena Owen, who hails from Bay of Islands, NZ, was cast as the revered Gramma Tala.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will reprise his role as the demigod Maui from the animated film, which also has a sequel on the way. You can check out the recently-released trailer below.

Releasing in theaters on July 10, 2026, Moana is directed by Thomas Kail, who helmed Hamilton on Broadway and Disney+, Grease Live and the first and last episodes of Hulu’s lauded limited series, We Were the Lucky Ones

Said Kail, “I am thrilled to have met Catherine, Rena, Frankie and John through this casting process. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I cannot wait to all be on set together. And there’s no better pair to be in a canoe with than Catherine and Dwayne—actually, trio: Heihei is ready, too.”

Moana will bring to life in a whole new way the story of a young woman eager to pave her own path. Celebrating the islands, communities and traditions of Pacific Islanders in a spectacular adventure, the production begins filming this summer. The new feature film is produced by Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia via their Seven Bucks Productions and Beau Flynn via FlynnPictureCo.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the original songs, will also serve as producer. Executive producers include Scott Sheldon of FlynnPictureCo., Auli‘i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 film, and Charles Newirth. Jared Bush and Dana Ledoux Miller have been tapped for the project.

Bush, a veteran of Disney Animation, wrote the screenplay for 2016’s Moana, and Miller is a Samoan writer who created Netflix’s Thai Cave Rescue and co-founded the non-profit Pasifika Entertainment Advancement Komiti (PEAK).

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Origame - 6/13/2024, 11:34 AM
What the f@#$? I was hoping the Moana sequel was them quietly canceling this remake.

Disney gonna disney. Remaking a movie that isnt even 10 years old.

Can't wait for the remake of the remake in 2036 🤣
DarthOmega - 6/13/2024, 11:55 AM
@Origame - Disney spending billions to buy Fox and Marvel was them basically holding up a flashing neon sign that reads "We're all out of ideas".

Remakes, reboots, reimagining, live action versions, and sequels, sequels as far as the eye can see. To be fair, that could've worked. It worked fine in the beginning, but of course current day messaging is thwarting their plans. People are starting to notice and reject it.
Origame - 6/13/2024, 11:57 AM
@DarthOmega - THE MESSAGE
Blergh - 6/13/2024, 11:58 AM
@Origame - it’s pretty disheartening that they’re doing these remakes instead of fleshing these stories out.
Nobody needs a Mufasa prequel but it’s a 100 times a better idea to do that instead of the remake of Lion King a few years ago.
Origame - 6/13/2024, 12:07 PM
@Blergh - couldn't agree more. Which is why I'm all in on Moana 2
WruceBayne - 6/13/2024, 12:59 PM
@Origame - I legitimately thought the same thing. I figured live action Moana was over with because The Rock’s career has been on the ropes lately.
Vigor - 6/13/2024, 11:36 AM
That's such a cool last name and fun to pronounce. Like a tongue workout
BlackBolt84 - 6/13/2024, 11:41 AM
All for the best, I'm sure. Auli'i Cravalho looks like she writes for Vice now. Poor kid is a victim of the culture wars
Lisa89 - 6/13/2024, 11:45 AM
@BlackBolt84 - Why are you criticizing the appearance of someone with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome?
Malatrova15 - 6/13/2024, 11:47 AM
@Lisa89 - the real question is why not
SATW42 - 6/13/2024, 12:18 PM
@BlackBolt84 - what does this even mean?
Gambito - 6/13/2024, 11:52 AM
Another [frick]ing disposable kid to play in these movies, god bless them hope their parents don’t blow all the cash on cocaine
clintthahamster - 6/13/2024, 12:16 PM
@Gambito - *blow all the cash on blow
dracula - 6/13/2024, 11:54 AM
She looks the role
dracula - 6/13/2024, 11:56 AM
Remaking a movie less than 10 years old, while also making a sequel to the original movie

Disney has truly run out of ideas
FusionWarrior - 6/13/2024, 11:57 AM
Too 🔜
Nomis929 - 6/13/2024, 12:00 PM
LOL! The CGI looks exactly like one of those programs that make a cartoon version of someone.
JFerguson - 6/13/2024, 12:04 PM
No doubt the rock forced this one into production
SATW42 - 6/13/2024, 12:20 PM
@JFerguson - the Rock don't have Disney clout. He barely even has WWE clout and he's a part owner of their parent company. Got completely railroaded out of his own main event because no one wanted him.
SATW42 - 6/13/2024, 4:48 PM
@Spoken - yeah I saw it and was about to come in here and make fun of myself. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. It's only a first look deal. Essentially they can pitch things and Disney has to listen to the pitch, but they don't have to accept it.

The Rock can try and pitch an Apocalypse movie starring himself, but they don't have to pick it up.

This is essentially Disney wanting first refusal rights on Seven Bucks Projects, and in return, they have their foot in the door to try and get in on Disney IP projects.
asherman93 - 6/13/2024, 12:29 PM
I’m sure she’ll do great in the role.
There is still no reason for a Dismalmake of Moana.
slickrickdesigns - 6/13/2024, 12:44 PM
Maybe they can get Jason Mehmoa to play The Rock too.
User Comment Image
SheepishOne - 6/13/2024, 1:37 PM
Those cowards are too afraid to make a live action Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Slotherin - 6/13/2024, 6:08 PM
@SheepishOne - haha, this is the winning comment
zeon00 - 6/14/2024, 7:31 AM
@SheepishOne - & Tarzan
DocSpock - 6/13/2024, 4:21 PM

Moana was a very good animated movie in my opinion. My Grandkids loved it. The young girl star looks just right for the part.

I hope the bombastic rock doesn't ruin it with his only 2 acting moves. Playing an insufferable ham & scowling.

BeNice123 - 6/14/2024, 12:50 PM
Wow. 😒
sully - 6/14/2024, 5:12 PM
Wow actually cast a racially-appropriate actor for the role? Color me shocked.

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