Auli?i Cravalho won’t play Moana again. The 22-year-old actress took to Instagram on Friday and shared that she will not reprise her role from the 2016 animated film in the upcoming live-action remake.
“When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” Cravalho began. “In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role.”
While she won’t star in the role, Cravalho noted that she believes “it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell,” something she’ll work to ensure as an executive producer.
“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,” she said. “I’m truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent, to honor our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures and communities that helped inspire her story.”
Cravalho concluded her message by stating, “I look forward to all beautiful Pacific representation to come. Mahalo.”
Last month, Dwayne Johnson announced that he’s producing a live-action remake of the 2016 film, in which he’ll reprise his role of Maui.
“I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen,” Johnson said. “This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength. 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.”
Johnson added, “I want to thank my partners at Disney for their strong commitment to this special endeavor, because there is no better world for us to honor the story of our people, our passion and our purpose than through the realm of music and dance, which is at the core of who we are as Polynesian people.”
In a press release at the time, Cravalho said of Moana, “She has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses. Moana’s strength and perseverance are inspiring — to audiences around the world, to me and to everyone who helped bring her to life. I’m looking forward to sharing her story in a whole new way.”
The new feature film is produced by Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia via their Seven Bucks Productions and Beau Flynn via Flynn Picture Co. Executive producers include Cravalho and Scott Sheldon of Flynn Picture Co. As of yet, a director has not officially signed on to the project. John Musker and Ron Clements directed the original movie.
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