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Disney finds its live-action 'Moana': Catherine Laga'aia to star in the company's next princess movie

The feature film, scheduled for release on July 10, 2026, will also feature the return of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the demigod Maui.

A la izquierda: imagen de 'Moana' durante la cinta estrenada en 2016. A la derecha: la actriz Catherine Laga'aia, elegida para interpretar a Moana en el 'live-action'

(Cordon Press / Walt Disney Company)

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Disney has found its live-action "Moana." The entertainment giant announced this Wednesday that actress Catherine Laga'aia will star in the new version of the animated film that the company released in 2016:

The 17-year-old actress and native of Sydney, Australia, will headline the new feature film, whose premiere is scheduled for July 10, 2026. She said in a press release, that the opportunity is especially exciting for her since Moana is "one of my favorites":

I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites. 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.

Live-action 'Moana' will feature a native cast

The cast is completed by Auckland, New Zealand,-native John Tui, who will play Moana's father, Chief Tui; Samoan New Zealander Frankie Adams, who will play Moana's mother, Sina; and Bay of Islands, New Zealand,-based actress Rena Owen, who will play Moana's grandmother, Tala.

Also joining the cast will be actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who will once again take on the role of the demigod Maui, as he did in the animated version of the film and in its sequel, which will soon hit the big screen after its recently released first trailer.

All of them, along with Catherine Laga'aia, were in contact with the director of this new film, Thomas Kail ("Hamilton," "Grease Live," "We Were The Lucky Ones"), who said he felt "humbled by this opportunity":

I am thrilled to have met Catherine, Rena, Frankie and John through this casting process. 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.