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

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

Disney has found its director for the next planned live-action remake of the hit animated feature, “Moana“, currently in the works. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Tony Award-winning director of the hit Broadway show, “Hamilton,” Thomas Kail, has signed on to helm the next feature film for Walt Disney Studios.

Thomas Kail of ‘Hamilton’ to Direct Disney’s ‘Moana’ Remake

Disney and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced the project earlier this year, with Johnson attached to both produce and star in the film, reprising his role from the 2016 CG-animated hit as Maui, the running back. -god of the wind and the sea. He is producing the film with Seven Bucks Productions collaborators Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, and Beau Flynn through Flynn Picture Co. Auli’i Cravalho, who was the voice of Moana in the original film , is also an executive producer of the update.

The new live-action version is written by Jared Bush (“Encanto,” “Zootopia”), who co-wrote the screenplay for 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”, recently updated by Disney this year with a new action movie in direct from director Rob Marshall.


According to Disney, the remake of “Moana” will celebrate the islands, communities and traditions of Pacific Islanders through the eyes of Princess Moana, who wants to chart her own path. As previously reported by The Blast, Cravalho will not be reprising her princess role for the upcoming remake. However, despite the recasting of the role of the titular heroine, Cravalho will still be involved in the project to some degree.

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 critics, scoring 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Kail won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” in 2008. He and Miranda reunited in 2015 for “Hamilton,” which also won him the Tony Award for Best Direction. The musical won 11 Tony Awards out of 16 total nominations. He then moved on to television, directing five episodes of FX’s acclaimed miniseries, “Fosse/Verdon.” He also directed the filmed stage version of “Hamilton” for Disney+, which was released in 2020. However, “Moana” will be Kail’s feature directorial debut.

Announcing Moana Live

Kail’s longtime collaborator Miranda also wrote the soundtrack to the original “Moana” 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 earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

Disney won’t be stopping live-action remakes of its animated productions anytime soon. The studio is also working on a live-action remake of “Lilo and Stitch,” which will be directed by “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” director Dean Fleischer Camp. The live-action remake of “Moana” is currently in the works. It does not yet have an official release date. It is now streaming on Disney+.

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