The line where the sky meets the sea is calling Moana once again. A sequel to the hit 2016 animated film was announced Wednesday by Bob Iger on CNBC ahead of Disney’s fiscal first quarter earnings report — with a surprise theatrical release this Nov. 27.
Iger revealed that, while it was originally planned as a TV series, the company ultimately landed on producing a second film. “Moana remains an incredibly popular franchise, and we can’t wait to give you more of Moana and Maui when ‘Moana 2’ comes to theaters this November,” Iger said.
Per a release from Disney, “Moana 2” takes audiences on an expansive new voyage with Moana, Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers. After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.
The sequel will be directed by Dave Derrick Jr., with music from Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, along with Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina, who worked on the first film.
“Moana” was a box office success for Disney, making over $680 million at the box office. The film crossed 1 billion hours streamed on Disney+ last year.
Last April, Dwayne Johnson also announced a separate live-action remake of the original film during a Disney shareholders meeting.
“Humbled to say we’re bringing Moana’s beautiful story to the live-action big screen! Maui changed my life (miss you grandpa) and I’m honored to partner with Disney to tell our story through the realm of music and dance, which at the core is who we are as Polynesian people,” he tweeted.
Original star Auli’i Cravalho will not return to voice the titular character in the live-action film. “I believe it is absolutely vital that casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell,” she said on Instagram in May of last year. “I can’t wait to find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit and emotional strength.” She will be an executive producer on the live-action project.