Fans of Disney and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have a big reason to celebrate this week.
In Disney’s annual shareholder meeting, led yesterday by CEO Bob Iger, Johnson was featured in a special pre-recorded message to announce the big news that the 2016 hit “Moana” is going to be revived in an upcoming live action remake.
Not only that, but Johnson will reprise his role as demigod Maui in the movie.
The video was filmed in Hawaii and featured the wrestling pro turned movie star with his two youngest daughters, Jasmine, 7, and Tiana, 4.
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“We are here on the island of Oahu where I did a lot of my growing up,” he explained as he walked along the beach with his children.
“As you know, Hawaii means so much to my family and me, and the traditions of our ‘ohana, or ’aiga,’ as we say in Samoa, were shaped by these incredible islands.”
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He said the Pacific Islands inspired “a very special story,” and his daughters gleefully revealed that that story was “Moana.”
“We are so happy and excited to announce that a live-action reimagining of ‘Moana’ is in the works,” he announced.
He assured fans that the new film would include “Moana, Gramma Tala, the music, the dance, Te Fiti, Pua the pig, the village, the beautiful, powerful ocean …”
Johnson teased one more fan favorite appearance before confirming that Moana’s chicken, Heihei, would also be included in the cast, then slipped in that “yours truly… Maui will be in it too.”
Johnson will be reviving the role, and as he went on to share that much of the original inspiration for the character came from his own late grandfather, “the legendary High Chief, Peter Maivia.”
He said, “In a way, when I bring Maui to life, I’m doing it in the spirit of my grandfather.”
The team, which includes Johnson and the original voice of Moana, Auli’i Cravalho, as executive producers, is still “very early in the process” of filming, and he acknowledged that there’s still “so much work to be done.”
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He then sent his daughters off to get a special surprise, and they brought back a life-size version of Maui’s fishhook, the source of his powers in the movie.
Johnson elaborated on the news in a statement he posted to Instagram, saying, “I’m deeply humbled and overcome with gratitude to bring the beautiful story of Moana to the live-action big screen. This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength.”
He continued, “I wear this culture proudly on my skin and in my soul, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with Maui, inspired by the mana and spirit of my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, is one that runs very deep for me.
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“We’re honored to partner with @DisneyStudios to tell our story through the realm of music and dance, which at the core is who we are as Polynesian people. Much more to come, but until then… What can I saaaaaay except… You’re welcome.”