Auli’i Cravalho will not be playing Moana in the forthcoming live-action remake of the 2016 animated Disney film.
The 22-year-old actress shared the news in a video on her Instagram account May 19. “When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” she began. “In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role.”
Cravalho continued, “I believe that it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell. So, 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.”
“I am 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 help inspire her story, and I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come,” she concluded.
Walt Disney Studios announced that a live-action “Moana” remake was in the works back in early April with the help of Dwayne Johnson, who played everyone’s favorite demigod Maui in the film.
Cravalho shared her reaction on Instagram at the time, saying, “Moana 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.”
Moana was nominated for two Oscars at the 2017 Academy Awards, one for best animated feature and another for best original song for “How Far I’ll Go” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Cravalho and Miranda performed the song during the ceremony.
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