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Is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Returning for ‘Moana’ Sequels?

Will Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson be returning for the Moana sequels? It’s not as certain as fans first assumed.

The Rock is pretty beloved, even when he sometimes realizes too late that he’s a terrible judge of character.

But he’s also pretty essential to Moana, as he plays a major character — the demigod, Maui.

So why is Disney already teasing these projects when he reportedly hasn’t signed on yet? And he isn’t the only one whose future with the films is in limbo.

Dwayne Johnson in September 2023.Dwayne Johnson in September 2023.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stands on the sideline in the first half of a game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023. (Photo Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Moana Sequels Are Happening – Two, in Fact!

Disney released an announcement teaser trailer for Moana 2, an animated sequel to the original film.

The release date for the film is November 27 — one day before Thanksgiving. That will give most American families a long weekend to see the film.

Additionally, there is a live action Moana adaptation on the horizon. Reports say that the June 2025 release date may be premature, but it’s coming one way or the other. Exciting stuff!

Disney’s surprise announcement of Moana 2 was very sparse on details.

The director is Dave Derrick Jr. The project features music from Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina.

Beyond that … we know next to nothing about the creative team. Except that, surely, the original cast is returning. Right?

Dwayne Johnson in 2023.Dwayne Johnson in 2023.
Dwayne Johnson attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023. (Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Will Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson actually be returning in the ‘Moana’ sequels?

However, Deadline reports that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is merely in talks to reprise his Maui role in Moana 2.

Apparently, talks are going well. Well enough, it seems, that something would have to go awry very sharply for Disney to have to recast the role.

Meanwhile, Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in Moana, is in talks of her own to return for the live action. However, those talks are still a work in progress as well.

Dwayne Dwayne
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attends the XFL game between the Orlando Guardians and Houston Roughnecks at TDECU Stadium on February 18, 2023. (Photo Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Despite the negotiations, Disney went ahead and teased the upcoming sequel.

One major sign that all parties involved believe that things is that both Johnson and Cravalho shared the trailer with their own followers.

Of course, there may have been a leftover contractual obligation that forced someone’s hand. Similarly, some would consider the release and sharing of this teaser to be a negotiating tactic. Only time will tell.

Dwayne Dwayne
Dwayne Johnson speaks onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 05, 2023. (Photo Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Disney is giving ’90s kids a real flashback

After the Disney Renaissance reinvigorated the once-struggling company, Disney began to greenlight low-budget sequels to major motion pictures.

These sequels featured new, less famous voice casts and conspicuously simpler animation. Some remain fan favorites, while others make people cringe.

Is Disney repeating old mistakes or capitalizing on recent successes? No matter how well Moana 2 does, and whether or not Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is returning for these Moana sequels, fans will argue over this for years.

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