Auli’i Cravalho Won’t Reprise the Role of ‘Moana’ in the Live-Action, They’re Looking for Accurate Representation

Auli'i Cravalho's voice empowered millions in the role of Moana; however, she won't be reprising her iconic role in the upcoming live-action.

Isabel Cara

Early this year Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson announced that Disney is officially working on the live-action of Moana, a film that although quite recent, became an instant classic. At the time, it was announced that both Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho were going to reprise their roles of Maui and Moana respectively, but the young actress and singer has just announced that she’s stepping back from the role.

In a video uploaded on her Instagram account, the American actress gave some updates on the upcoming film and gave her fans the sad news about her not taking the lead role. She explained that as executive producer, she wants to “help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit, and emotional strength.”

“I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell,” said Cravalho, and at this moment in film history where the subject of representation is so urgent, this makes absolute sense. However, her reprising the role would not have been problematic since the 22-year-old actress was born in Hawaii, one of the many Pacific Islands. Still, it seems the production wants to be as accurate and loyal to the character as possible.

She added that she’s “truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent, to honor our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures, and communities that helped inspire her story. And I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come.”

On his part, when Dwayne Johnson announced the production of the Moana Live-Action, he also stressed the importance of celebrating his roots and culture. “This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength. I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui.”

Seeing the original cast so involved in representing this movie in the right way, gives us hope for better representation in mainstream movies, something that other productions should be focusing on (cough, cough… Lilo & Stitch, Queen Cleopatra).

15 Disney Songs That Will Encourage You To Follow Your Dreams