Dwayne Johnson Reprising His Most Famous Role And Fans Are Going Crazy

Dwayne Johnson will be reprising the role of Maui in the live-action Moana remake.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

Disney has announced yet another live-action remake of one of their beloved animated films, and this time, it’s probably the fastest turnaround from any animated release to the time it took for the House of Mouse to turn it into a live-action movie. Dwayne Johnson has announced that a live-action Moana is in the works, and Johnson will be reprising his role of Maui. The Rock broke the news at the Disney 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders Webcast on April 3 (via Variety) and then shared a tweet that included a promotional video about the movie that featured the actor’s two daughters.

In his tweet, Dwayne Johnson said that Moana captures who the Polynesian people are at their core through song and dance and that he was excited to dive back into the story that changed his life. The Black Adam star also gave a shoutout to his grandfather, the High Chief Peter Maivia, who he said was “legendary” and a big inspiration for the character of Maui, whom Johnson voiced in the original animated feature.

In the pre-recorded video announcing the remake, Dwayne Johnson appears extremely excited to be involved with Moana again as the actor rattled off all of the iconic characters from the original movie that would be making appearances in the live-action version. According to Johnson, Moana, Grandma Tala, Te Fiti, Pua the pig, the “beautiful, powerful” ocean, and Heihei the chicken will all be in the live-action version, as well as music, dance, and Moana’s village. At the moment, no other casting announcements have been made, aside from Johnson reprising his role as Maui, the demigod. 

According to Dwayne Johnson, the Moana remake is still very early in the process, with lots of planning still to be done. Johnson didn’t mention how similar to the original film the live-action remake will be or if it will contain the original music by Lin Manuel Miranda. With Johnson’s hint that there is still more planning to be done, hopefully, the new movie will be a new take on the animated feature and not a direct copy like some of the past animated-turned-live-action-features have been. 

While some of the Disney remakes have looked at the classic stories through new lenses (like Emma Stone’s Cruella or Angelina Jolie’s Maleficient, which told the stories through the eyes of the villains), many of the remakes seemed to have been copied and pasted directly from the animated films to the live-action versions with only slight variations made for the new features (such was the case with Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast and Donald Glover’s The Lion King). Since Dwayne Johnson starred in the original Moana only seven years ago, the movie is still fresh on our minds and doesn’t seem ready to be remade yet—that is to say, if any of the Disney animated movies should ever be remade at all.

In the same way that people are starting to feel burnt out by the infinite number of Marvel movies the studio has been pushing, many are starting to feel tired of the sheer number of animated remakes Disney is pushing on its fans. On the one hand, the entertainment conglomerate is clearly making money out of this remake cash cow (otherwise, they wouldn’t keep spitting them out) but on the other hand, many Disney fans miss the days when Disney created charming original stories. Either way, Dwayne Johnson will be reprising Maui from Moana whether we like it or not. However, since they’re still deep in the planning phase, it will probably still be several years before the remake hits theaters.