Disney casts Catherine Laga‘aia in live-adaptation of ‘Moana’

Dwayne Johnson will play Maui in the movie

By CT Desk

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Published: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 1:14 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 1:16 PM

Catherine Laga‘aia has joined the cast of Disney’s live-action Moana movie as its titular character, Moana, reports Variety.

The film is set to be released in July, 2026.

Meanwhile, the second instalment of the animated movie is expected later this year.

Upon being announced as the new Moana, Laga‘aia, a 17-year-old Sydney, Australia native told Variety: “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.”

In addition to Laga‘aia, New Zealander John Tui’s has been cast as Moana's father; Samoan-New Zealand actress Frankie Adams will play her mother and Rena Owen will be playing Gramma Tala.

The cast also includes Dwayne Johnson, who will play Maui.

The live-action version of Moana will be directed by Thomas Kail, whose credits include Grease Live and the first and last episodes of Hulu’s limited series We Were the Lucky Ones.

Kail was quoted by Variety as saying, “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.”


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