While the announcement didn’t specify casting details, Deadline indicates that Dwayne Johnson is close to finalising his return in Moana 2. Auli’i Cravalho is also in talks to return as Moana, though her negotiations are not as advanced as Johnson’s. This development suggests a delay for the live-action Moana film, as it has not yet started production.
The sequel’s confirmation came as a surprise during Disney’s earnings report, with Iger highlighting the decision to transform a planned Disney+ series into a theatrical release. Moana 2 is slated for a release on 27 November, sharing its release date with Wicked: Part One, and aiming to capture the box office success of its predecessor.
Directed by Dave Derrick Jr., the film will feature music by Grammy winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, Grammy nominee Opetaia Foa’i, and three-time Grammy winner Mark Mancina. Notably, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the original film, will not be contributing to the sequel’s music.
Johnson’s potential involvement in Moana 2 is noteworthy, as he is also set to star in and produce the live-action adaptation of the original film. However, Cravalho has confirmed she will not reprise her role in the live-action version, though her participation in the animated sequel remains a possibility.
With Moana being celebrated for its animation, music, and cultural representation, Disney aims to replicate its success with the sequel. The original film, a modern Disney classic, garnered over US$600 million worldwide and became a beloved household staple.
Moana 2 opens in cinemas on 27 November, with the first film available for streaming on Disney+.