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Auliʻi Cravalho Declines to Reprise Iconic Moana Role in Live-Action Adaptation: ‘Honored to Pass This Baton’


Auli’i Cravalho is looking for another character like Moana.

Yes, you heard it right! In April, Disney announced that it is making a live-action version of its 2016 animated hit Moana. Original voice stars Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho will be producing and executive producing, respectively. At the time, there was no information about the cast.

In a video she shared on Instagram on Friday, Cravalho, who is 22 years old, confirmed that she will not be playing Moana in the new version.

“When I was cast as Moana at 14 it wonderfully changed my life and started my career. 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. 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.”

Auliʻi Cravalho Declines to Reprise Iconic Moana Role in Live-Action Adaptation: 'Honored to Pass This Baton'

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“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. And I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come.”

In a press release of the Moana project last month, Cravalho told of the character, “She 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.

Johnson, who is 51 years old, said in his own statement,  “I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen.”

“This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength,” he then added. “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.”

Auliʻi Cravalho Declines to Reprise Iconic Moana Role in Live-Action Adaptation: 'Honored to Pass This Baton'

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“I want to thank my partners at Disney for their strong commitment to this special endeavor,” Johnson said. “because there is no better world for us to honor the story of our people, our passion, and our purpose than through the realm of music and dance, which is at the core of who we are as Polynesian people.”

Moana was a big hit in 2016, and Jemaine Clement, Temuera Morrison, Rachel House, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk all did roles in the movie. The movie’s songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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