Catherine Laga’aia Joins Dwayne Johnson As Moana – News18

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Moana live-action version will release in 2026. (Photo Credits: Instagram)

Moana live-action version will release in 2026. (Photo Credits: Instagram)

Catherine Laga’aia, 17, said that she is “excited” to embrace the character, stating that Moana is one of her favourites.

The Walt Disney Company has finally found its next Moana for the upcoming live-action reimagining of the original film. After Auli’i Cravalho won hearts, bringing warmth, courage, and humour through her voice to Moana, Disney announced newcomer Catherine Laga’aia would play the titular character. While Dwayne Johnson is set to reprise his role as the shape-shifting demigod Maui, Catherine will join him in the oceanic adventure.

The 17-year-old Catherine Laga’aia, who hails from Sydney, Australia, said she feels “excited” to embrace the character, stating that Moana is one of her favourites.

“I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favourites. My grandfather comes from Fa‘aala, Palauli, in Savai‘i. And my grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa. I’m honored to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples and to represent young girls who look like me,” she said in a statement.

Cravalho, who previously voiced Moana, will be mentoring the younger actor for her role.

Besides Catherine, Disney also announced other cast members, including John Tui as Moana’s father, Chief Tui, Frankie Adams as her mother, Sina, and Rena Owen as the teen’s Gramma Tala. Speaking about the film, director Thomas Kail shared that he feels thrilled to have Catherine, Rena, Frankie, and John onboard. “I am humbled by this opportunity, and I cannot wait to all be on set together. And there’s no better pair to be in a canoe with than Catherine and Dwayne—actually, trio: Heihei is ready, too,” he added.

Details On Moana Live-Action Film

Taking up Disney’s celebrated animated franchise, the live-action remake will see Moana going on a whole new way of life, eager to pave her own path. It will celebrate the islands, communities, and traditions of Pacific Islanders in this spectacular adventure. Produced by Johnson along with Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, the film will have Scott Sheldon, Auli‘i Cravalho, and Charles Newirth as executive producers.

The film will be released in 2026.

Meanwhile, the animated version – Moana 2 – will be released on November 27.