Disney taps ‘Hamilton’ director for live-action ‘Moana’ remake.

Disney has found its director for the upcoming live-action remake of the hit cartoon: “moana, currently in progress. Per The Hollywood ReporterTony Award-winning director of hit Broadway show Hamilton, Thomas Kail, has signed on to direct the upcoming feature film for Walt Disney Studios.

Hamilton’s Thomas Kail is directing Disney’s Moana remake

Disney and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced the project earlier this year, with Johnson serving as both producer and star in the film, reprising his role from the 2016 CG-animated hit as Maui, the demigod of the wind and of the sea, resumed. He is producing the film along with his Seven Bucks Productions associates Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, and Beau Flynn through Flynn Picture Co. Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the original film, is also executive producing on the update.

The new live-action version was written by Jared Bush (Encanto, Zootopia), who co-wrote the first film with Dana Ledoux Miller. The animated film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who also directed the 1989 Disney animated classic The Little Mermaid, which Disney recently updated this year with a new live-action film directed by Rob Marshall.


According to Disney, the “Moana” remake will celebrate the islands, communities and traditions of the Pacific Islanders through the eyes of Princess Moana, who wants to follow her path. As previously reported by The Blast, Cravalho will not be reprising her role as a princess in the upcoming remake. Although the titular character will be recast, Cravalho will continue to be involved in the project to some extent.

The 2016 animated film was a hit for Disney, grossing $248 million at the domestic box office and $643 million worldwide. The film was well received by the critics, scoring 95% Rotten tomatoes.

Kail received a 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical Director for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. In 2015, he and Miranda reunited for Hamilton, which also earned him another Tony Award for Best Director. The musical won 11 Tony Awards from a total of 16 nominations. He later switched to television, directing five episodes of the acclaimed FX mini-series Fosse/Verdon. He also directed the Disney+ stage adaptation of Hamilton, which hit theaters in 2020. However, “Moana” will be Kail’s feature film debut as a director.

Live Action Moana Announcement

Kail’s longtime collaborator Miranda also wrote the soundtrack for the original Moana, along with Opetaia Foa’a and Mark Mancina. Miranda also won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media for the film with “How Far I’ll Go.” It also received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

Disney will not stop producing live-action remakes of its animated productions anytime soon. The studio is also working on a live-action remake of Lilo and Stitch, directed by Marcel the Shell With Shoes On director Dean Fleischer Camp. The live-action remake “Moana” is currently in the works. There is no official release date yet. It’s now streaming on Disney+.

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: dustinhuang@24ssports.com.

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