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Disney announces casting call for new Moana live-action film

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Disney Studios has announced that it is searching for a Pacific Islander/ Pasifika actor to play Moana in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the animated film.

Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the original film, recently announced on Instagram that she would not reprise the role.

“When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” she said in the video post. “In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role. I believe it is absolutely vital the casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell.”

The call was made by the California-based studios on Tuesday and released details in a flyer that has been distributed globally. The studios want Pacific Islander or Pasifika actors who can sing to play Moana in the live-action adaptation of "Moana".

"[Moana] Actor to play a character that is female, 16, Pacific Islander, heroic, bold and adventurous, Moana, the daughter of their village's chief, feels isolated on her home island of Motunui, yearning for purpose and curious about what lies beyond their reef," reads a flyer that was distributed by the studios.

"Despite her father's protests, and emboldened by her gramma's encouragement, the intuitive and courageous Moana embarks on a dangerous quest, sailing beyond the reef and using her strength and intelligence to overcome epic obstacles along the way.

"Although following her curiosity and searching for her own identity, Moana is never selfish, she is determined to fulfill the quest of her ancestors and save her people. Strong singer!" 

Seiuli Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who voiced the shape-shifting demigod Maui in the animated film of the same name, initially announced early last month that the movie project will be made into a live-action version. 

The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment posted a photo of the casting call on Twitter. Those interested in the role should contact the casting department at moana.casting@disneypp.com.