Catherine Laga‘aia has been announced as the lead in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Moana, according to Variety. The movie is scheduled for release in July 2026. Additionally, the animated sequel is anticipated to debut later this year. Laga‘aia, a 17-year-old from Sydney, Australia, expressed her excitement to Variety, stating, “Moana is one of my favorite characters, and I’m thrilled to embody her. My heritage includes roots from Fa‘aala, Palauli in Savai‘i, and Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa. I feel privileged to honor Samoa and the Pacific Island community, and to represent young girls similar to myself.” The cast also features John Tui as Moana's father, Frankie Adams as her mother, and Rena Owen as Gramma Tala. Dwayne Johnson reprises his role as Maui. The film will be directed by Thomas Kail, known for Grease Live and Hulu’s We Were the Lucky Ones. Kail shared his enthusiasm with Variety, “I am excited to work with Catherine, Rena, Frankie, and John. I am honored by this chance and look forward to our time on set together.”