Moana is getting the live-action movie treatment as Disney’s latest big-budget adaptation, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returning as Maui. The Mickey Mouse company confirmed the news as part of its Annual Meeting of Shareholders Webcast (via Variety), and Johnson added to the announcement with his own special video. It’s a cute 2-minute announcement clip that features Johnson’s children as he tries to convince audiences that it’s definitely not too early for a live-action Moana movie.
“We are so excited and happy to announce that a live-action reimagining of Moana is in the works,” Johnson said in the video. “Moana, Grandma Tala, the music, the dance, Te Fiti, Pua the pig, the village, the beautiful powerful ocean, and one more… what’s that, guys? Oh, yours truly… Heihei the chicken! Kidding. Heihei is gonna be in it, but of course, Maui will be in it too.”
Johnson went on to explain that he’s taking the opportunity brought on by a live-action Moana movie to pay tribute to the spirit of his grandfather: “Many of you may not know the brilliant team at Disney Animation, my partners, we found so much inspiration for Maui in the mana and the presence of my late grandfather, the legendary High Chief Peter Maivia.”
Details are light past the promise that the live-action Moana will feature many familiar faces from the original film. Johnson said that development on the project is still “very early,” so don’t expect more news for quite some time. To sign off, the wrestler-turned-actor asked his daughters to bring out a to-scale version of the hook Maui uses in the original film. You can see everything Johnson has to say in the video below.
Moana premiered in 2016 and tells the story of its title character as she explores the sea with Johnson’s not-so-humble demigod, Maui. Moana’s journey through her connection with her ancestors and the ocean is one of Disney’s best of the last decade – but it’s also only seven years old. Disney’s animated team brought that story to life with incredible tropical visual effects that still hold up today, so one has to wonder how a live-action Moana could do the original film justice when it eventually rolls in.