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Auliʻi Cravalho shares why she won’t reprise role as Moana in the live-action film

The actor says that she will, however, serve as an executive producer on the upcoming movie and “cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit.”
/ Source: TODAY

Auliʻi Cravalho has officially confirmed that she won’t be reviving her role as the titular character in Disney’s live-action reimagining of “Moana.”

In a May 19 post shared on her Instagram page, the actor — who voiced Moana in the 2016 animated film — confirmed her level in the project, noting that as one of its executive producers, finding the right actor to “portray Moana’s courageous spirit” is a top priority.

“When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” she shared at the start of the video post, which was shot with the outdoors as a backdrop. “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,” she went on to explain. “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.”

Cravalho went on to underline her desire to ensure that the upcoming project includes a conscientious representation of Pacific Islanders.

“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 helped inspire her story,” she continued. “And I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come.”

Dwayne Johnson, who voiced the demigod Maui in the original animated film, confirmed that the live-action version was in development on April 3. At the time, Johnson shared that he would breathe life into the live-action character and, like Cravalho, also emphasized his pride in being able to share his identity as a Pacific Islander with the world.

“I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen,” he said 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.”