Auli’i Cravalho shared the news Friday (May 19) that she won’t return as the title character in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of 2016’s Moana.
“I’m sure you’ve heard by now, live-action Moana is in the works and you all have been waiting very patiently for updates. So I’ve written a few things down,” she said in a video posted to her Instagram on Friday. “When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career. In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role.
“I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell,” the actress continued. “So, as an executive producer on the film, I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength. I am truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent to honor our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures and communities that help inspire her story. And I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come.”
Voicing Moana was Cravalho’s breakout role, as the then-unknown teen brought to life the story of tradition and discovery through now-classic songs like “How Far I’ll Go,” “I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)” and “Where You Are.”
Disappointed fans will se at least one familiar face when the movie hits theaters, though. Dwayne Johnson, who announced the live-action remake from the beaches of Hawaii back in early April, will once again wield his magical fish hook as the demigod Maui.
Watch Cravalho break the news about Moana below.