Auli’i Cravalho will not be reprising her starring role in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of “Moana.” The actor, who voiced the original character in 2016 animated film, posted a video to Instagram Friday sharing the news.
“When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” the now 22-year-old said. “In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role. I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell.”
“I can’t wait to find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength,” Cravalho said. She will be an executive producer on the film.
“I’m truly honored to pass this baton to the next 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. Mahalo.”
Dwayne Johnson, who voiced the demigod Maui in the original movie, and Disney made the “Moana” live-action announcement in early April.
“I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of ‘Moana’ to the live-action big screen,” said Johnson at the time. “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.”
The live-action film will be produced by Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia through their Seven Bucks Productions and Beau Flynn via Flynn Picture Co. Scott Sheldo will executive produce the film alongside Cravalho. Jared Bush and Samoan industry leader Dana Ledoux Miller will be involved in production as well.