Catherine Laga'aia lands lead role in ‘Moana’ live action

Catherine Laga’aia lands lead role in ‘Moana’ live action

/ 04:19 PM June 13, 2024

Catherine Laga'aia lands lead role in ‘Moana’ live action

Catherine Laga’aia to star as Moana in the live action | Image: X/Disney

The sea of Hollywood has called Australian Catherine Laga’aia as she takes on the lead role in the upcoming live action movie of the Disney animated hit, “Moana.”

Catherine’s father, Australian actor-singer Jay Laga’aia, shared the exciting news on Instagram with an art card of the former side by side with her animated counterpart.


“My family and I are so pleased to share this news with the rest of the world. My daughter Katie can finally share the news that she will be taking on the role of Moana in the live-action Disney movie,” Jay wrote in the caption.


Catherine will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, who’s set to reprise his animated role as the demigod Maui in the adaptation.

Also joining Laga‘aia and Johnson in the ensemble are John Tui as Moana’s father, Chief Tui; Frankie Adams as Moana’s mother, Sina; and Rena Owen as the revered Grandma Tala.

“Moana” will mark Catherine’s big screen debut, as she was first seen in a supporting role in the TV series “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” in 2023.

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A post shared by Jay Laga’aia (@jaylagaaia)

In an interview with Variety, Catherine said that she feels excited to be given the chance to represent a character that looks like her.


“I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites,” said the 17-year-old. “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,” she added.

Auli‘i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the 2016 animated film, will mentor the teenage Catherine.

“I love that Moana is a hero to all,” Cravalho told Variety. “It changed what it meant to be a Disney princess. You can be strong and brave and stand up against a demigod. It feels really good that more and more generations are going to be able to relate to this character.”

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“Moana” is expected to begin filming this summer ahead of its targeted July 10, 2026, release date. The film will be directed by Thomas Kail, who’s known for his works in “Hamilton” on Broadway and Disney+.

The live action will be produced by Johnson alongside Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Beau Flynn, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the songs in the original film.

TAGS: Dwayne Johnson, Moana

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