‘Moana’ Casts Catherine Laga‘aia to Star in the Upcoming Live-Action Film

The Australian actor will play Moana in the film coming out in 2026. (Photo courtesy of Disney.)

Disney announced that Catherine Laga‘aia will star as the fearless ocean explorer Moana in the upcoming live-action remake of the 2016 film that will be sailing into theaters on July 10, 2026.

The 17-year-old actor from Sydney, Australia is the newest live-action Disney princess will join Dwayne Johnson who is reprising his role as the demigod Maui. “I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites,” said Laga‘aia in a press release from Disney. “My grandfather comes from Fa‘aala, Palauli, in Savai‘i. And my grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa. I’m honored to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples, and to represent young girls who look like me.”

“Moana” will bring this story about a young trailblazer to life in a whole new way. This new version of Moana’s adventure will celebrate the island communities and traditions of the Pacific Islanders and will begin production this summer.

The cast also includes Auckland, New Zealander John Tui as Chief Tui, Moana’s father; Samoan-New Zealand actress Frankie Adams as Sina, Moana’s mother; and Rena Owen who is from Bay of Islands, NZ, as Gramma Tala. “Moana” is directed by Thomas Kail, who helmed the stage productions of “Hamilton” on Broadway and Disney+, “Grease Live!” and the first and last episodes of the limited Hulu series “We Were the Lucky Ones.”

Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia and Beau Flynn produced the new feature film. Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the songs from the original is returning as a producer. And Auli‘i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 film, will be an executive producer alongside Scott Sheldon and Charles Newirth.

Have your sea legs ready for more updates as fans enter the musical waters of Motunui and the Pacific Ocean!