John Tui Young Rock
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Moana Live-Action Movie Castmembers Announced, Includes Young Rock’s John Tui

The live-action Moana movie has found its titular role. Deadline is reporting that Catherine Laga’aia has been cast as the lead in the film.

Laga’aia joins a cast that already features some huge names, including Dwayne Johnson reprising his role as Maui, the demigod from the original animated movie. Alongside the actress, John Tui has also been cast as Chief Tui, Moana’s father. Frankie Adams will play Moana’s mother Sina, and Rena Owen will play Gramma Tala.

This is Tui’s third project connected to The Rock. He also played Afa Ano’i on Young Rock and appeared as Kal Hobbs in Hobbs & Shaw.

“I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favorites,” said Laga’aia in a statement on the news. “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.”

The live-action Moana will be directed by Thomas Kail, and production on the project is set to begin this summer.