Dwayne Johnson (Fast Five) has confirmed via Instagram his casting in Disney’s first Polynesian Princess film, Moana. He joins newcomer Makamae Auwae – a Maui native – who will be playing the title character.
At DISNEY STUDIOS signing contracts to play the male lead in their next big classic animated musical, #MOANA. Just had an amazing 2hr presentation and it’s easy to see why they’re the greatest story tellers in the world. Im excited. And in the background my homies Fred & Wasabi from #BigHERO6 are jumpin’ for joy joy cause they heard I’m gonna sing in the movie. #WeTrulyKnowWhereWereGoing #WhenWeUnderstandWhereWereFrom #NeverForgetHome #MOANA
The animated feature follows the eponymous young woman, a skilled navigator who sets sail for a mysterious and fabled island with her hero, the demi-god Maui (Johnson), by her side. The film is written and directed by the Disney super-team Ron Clements and John Musker (The Princess and The Frog, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid), with additional writing credits by Taika Waititi (What We Do in The Shadows). Johnson, who is of Polynesian descent himself (specifically Samoan), seems to be a smart casting choice for the Disney film. The former wrestling-champ-turned-action-star also has a substantial history in family films. Beginning with The Game Plan in 2007, he went on to also star in Race to Witch Mountain, the animated film Planet 51, Tooth Fairy, and the second Journey to the Center of the Earth reboot. The only reticence that remains is the question of his singing voice, which he will have to exercise for the movie. As Johnson’s Twitter states, he expects his singing to be “manly and slightly off key.” Here is a preview of his (endearing) singing voice from his recent Saturday Night Live monologue:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) March 30, 2015
In addition to starring in Moana, Johnson can now be seen in theaters in Furious 7, and will soon return for San Andreas, and G.I. Joe 3. He has also been announced to soon make his return to the Journey franchise for at least two more films.
Moana is set to hit theaters November 23, 2016.