‘Moana’ Directors Not Involved in Disney’s Live-Action Remake

Brit Tuttle

Three individuals stand in a recording studio, with one woman reading a script and two men next to her. A microphone is in front of them, and there are animated images on the wall behind them.

‘Moana’ Directors Not Involved in Disney’s Live-Action Remake

John Musker and Ron Clements, directors of the animated version of “Moana,” will not be involved in Disney’s live-action take on the story currently in development.

‘Moana’ Directors Not Involved in Live-Action Remake

Three men pose with fists raised at the Disney "Moana" world premiere event, two in black suits and one in a blue Hawaiian shirt. The directors celebrate amidst Polynesian-themed elements, hinting at excitement for a potential live-action remake.
Image Source: IMDB

In a new interview with Spanish outlet El Pais, the pair confirmed that they are not involved in the new live-action remake of the 2016 animated film, both starring Dwayne Johnson as Maui.

I hope that they do it well, but we have nothing to do with it.

John Musker, co-director of “Moana”

In the same interview, Musker also criticized Disney’s recent live-action remakes of animated classics — some of which he co-directed with Clements — like 1989’s “The Little Mermaid” and 1992’s “Aladdin.” Currently, a live-action “Hercules” is in the works with Guy Ritchie, who directed the 2019 live-action remake of “Aladdin.” Musker and Clements co-directed the original 1997 animated “Hercules.”

Companies are always like, ‘How do we reduce our risk? They like this, right? We’ll just do it again and sell it to them in a different form.’ Or they think, ‘Well, we could make it better.’

John Musker
A man wearing a short-sleeved shirt stands on a beach holding a large, curved object while two children observe, discussing the latest release dates for Toy Story 5.

The live-action “Moana” was announced in 2023 by Johnson in a video shared during Disney’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Original “Moana” writer Jared Bush confirmed shortly after that he was working on the film’s script with Dana Ledoux Miller.

A woman with short black hair is smiling and standing outside. She is wearing a black sleeveless top and layered necklaces, giving off a subtle Moana vibe. The background shows green foliage and trees.

Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana in the animated film, is not reprising her role and instead serves as an executive producer on the project. An open casting call for the title role was released in May 2023. Tony Award-winning director of “Hamilton” on Broadway Thomas Kail will helm the live-action film.

The original animated film grossed nearly $683 million worldwide, making it one of the top five financial performances for a Walt Disney Animation Studios feature since 1994.

An animated character with curly hair rows a boat with determination, reminiscent of a scene from Moana 2, past a lush island backdrop and a mythical sea creature visible in the distance.

The live-action remake of “Moana” is currently slated for release on July 10, 2026. A sequel to the original animated film will be released later this year.

Source: ComicBook.com

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