Moana's lead actor won’t be back in the live-action remake

(Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Moana star Auli'i Cravalho has confirmed she won’t be back for the upcoming live-action remake. While the actor, who voiced the young girl in the 2016 movie, remains an executive producer on the film, she shared a statement on Instagram confirming she won’t star. 

"When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career," she told fans. "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."

Cravalho is now 22, while the character of Moana is 14, which is seemingly one of the main reasons behind the choice. The original movie was set on the Polynesian island of Motunui and followed Moana’s journey across the ocean to return the heart of Te Fiti to its rightful owner.

"I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit, and emotional strength," Cravalho added. "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 help inspire her story, and I look forward to the beautiful Pacific representation to come."

While the lead actor won’t be back, her co-star Dwayne Johnson will be reprising his role as Maui. He confirmed that the live-action remake was in the works in April, saying he was "humbled" to appear in the new adaptation.

Moana is the latest in a long line of live-action remakes from Disney, including Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and The Little Mermaid. For more on other new Disney movies, check out all the latest through that link.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.