After the release of Disney’s Moana in 2016, rumors eventually circulated that a sequel would be coming for the hit film. This wasn’t a huge surprise. For one thing, the movie was a box office success. On a reported budget of $150 million, the global box office reported earnings of $645 million. For another thing, Dwayne Johnson voiced a primary character in the first film, and the actor has been known for making big sequels. In 2019, a rumor spread that Moana 2 was coming via a report from Page Six. Then, in late 2020, Disney announced a series was on the way, but when that news fizzled, it was assumed that neither the sequel movie nor the series was happening. Now, Disney is actually making progress and the series is coming, though a little later than expected.
The Moana series is moving forward despite all this time without news. It’s unknown what was happening with the project over the last couple of years, but it appears they may have been working on finding the right talent for the project. They have just announced that they have secured David G. Derrick Jr. as director for the Moana series. Will Dwayne Johnson as Maui be next? So far, he’s been quiet.
The episodes will now stream on Disney+ in 2024, a delay over their previous timeline which put it in 2023. It is expected that Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the character of Moana, is still set to reprise her role as the lead. As for Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Alan Tudyk, or any of the rest of the cast, nothing has yet been announced. It would be a shame if Dwayne Johnson didn’t return as Maui, even just for an episode or two of the Moana series. While the lead character was definitely the star of the show, Maui’s song “You’re Welcome” was a memorable and important part of the original Disney movie. It will be interesting to see if talents like Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the famous song, will become involved in the new series.
A 2024 release date will be a way out from the original 2016 release of the movie. However, one of the advantages of animated projects is that an aging cast isn’t a problem. Disney had the time to get this one right, and as Disney+ has proven a valuable platform for them, they’re making interesting moves. For example, the new Moana series will mark the first time that Disney has made a spinoff show from one of their popular movies using Walt Disney Animation instead of Disney Television animation. Will these kinds of steps be a draw for Dwayne Johnson?
While the actor formerly known as The Rock has a busy schedule, he has lent his voice work skills to franchises like Fortnite. Returning for a few scenes and a new song for the Moana series seems right up his alley. Of course, the actor is also busy with his many new projects, including his first appearance as Black Adam for DC, his role as Krypto, Superman’s dog, in DC’s Life of Super-Pets. It’ll be interesting to see where Disney takes the new series, and whether Dwayne Johnson makes room in his schedule for it.