Back in April, we learned (via an announcement from Dwayne Johnson) that Disney was planning to add to its roster of live-action films adapted from its animated canon with Moana. Now we know that Hamilton director Thomas Kail will be calling the shots.
Confirmed today by The Hollywood Reporter but originally broken by scooper Daniel Richtman at his Patreon page, the news will mark Kail's narrative feature directorial debut (though he was, of course in charge of filming Hamilton, the stage show for which he won a Tony, for its Disney+ release).
Moana told the story of a young woman who disobeys her father, the chief of an island that is dealing with an impending ecological disaster and goes off on a quest to reunite a mystical relic with its owner, a goddess named Te Fiti. Along the way, she releases trickster demigod Maui (Johnson) from his island prison, is captured by a monstrous crab, and finds the strength to become the chief her father believed she could be.
With Jared Bush (who wrote the animated version) scripting alongside Dana Ledoux Miller, the live-action film will see Johnson return, though original Moana voice Auli‘i Cravalho is executive producing this time.
On screen, Kail produced and directed TV miniseries Fosse/Verdon and was part of the team for recent musical series Up Here.
The new Moana has yet to lock in a release date.