Now it’s “Moana” that will get that live-action Disney touch.
Dwayne Johnson, below, left, who voiced the demi-god Maui in the original animation film, announced from Honolulu yesterday that the Mouse House is planning do a live-action version of the animated 2016 hit that has grossed $644 million since.
Johnson will produce the newbie via his Seven Bucks Productions company, partnering with Danny Garcia and Hiram Garcia.
And Auli ‘i Cravalho, right, the native Hawaiian actress from Kamehameha Schools who voiced Moana and sang the Oscar-nominated hit tune, “How Far I’ll Go” in the film, will be back – but not playing the titular role nor on camera.
She is too old now, and has been focusing on building her career outside of the Disney franchise (she’s doing the movie, “Mean Girls the Musical: The Movie”) but will be on board as a producer instead, with Scott Sheldon of Flynn Picture Co.
Aside from Johnson, a cast is not yet set, so auditions for roles likely will begin in the weeks ahead, surely in Hawaii.
The animated “Moana,” with Johnson as Maui and Cravalho as Moana.
The “Moana” live-action project comes as Disney just recently announced plans for a live-action “Lilo & Stitch,” an island-based production that will star a Big Island lass, Maia Kealoha, as Lilo. She has no previous acting experience but likely will emerge as a certified film star by the time the movie is released.
A search also is on for a Stitch, whether a live actor or a CGI creation, which will need a voice, too.
A director for the new “Moana” has not been named, but Jared Bush, who wrote the screenplay for the original movie, will pen the remake, along with Dana Ledoux Miller. John Musker and Ron Clements who directed the original movie, from a story by Clements, Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell and Jordan Kandell; the Kandells have Hawaii roots. Bush was the sole credited screenwriter.
“This story is my culture, and this story is emblematic of our people’s grace and warrior strength,” said Johnson. “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.”
Cravalho, who helped shape the protagonist in the original film, said Moana’s reach is sweeping. “She has had such a profound impact on how we think of Disney princesses. Moana’s strength and perseverance are inspiring—to audiences around the world, to me, and to everyone who helped bring her to life. I’m looking forward to sharing her story in a whole new way.” …
Remembering Phil Arnone
Friends, family, and colleagues of the late Phil Arnone, the GOAT of cultural and entertainment specials, gathered at the Outrigger Canoe Club today (April 3) to pay homage, share stories and simply remember the glory, the accomplishments and the irreverence of the island-style TV documentaries, game shows, children’s shows and news broadcasts Arnone either produced or directed largely on KGMB.
His widow, Michelle Honda, assembled the gang and Arnone’s team of specialists involved in at least 50 shows he formatted and oversaw in his prime time “retirement” doing what he loved: making TV with watchable and wonderful programs.
Arnone died Feb. 12 at age 86, and folks like Dan Cooke, Larry Fleece, and Robert Pennybacker (the latter two, via scripts read by Cooke) reflected on the Greatest of All Time dude aka Mr. Television. From newscasts featuring Bob Sevey to “All in the Ohana” with Andy Bumatai and Linda Coble, from “Bingo” shows with Karen Keawehawai‘i, above left, and Kirk Matthews, to “Hawaiian Moving Company” with Kamasami Kong and Michael W. Perry, and from“Checkers and Pogo” to Rap Reiplinger, Arnone did ‘em all, and his professionalism and fingerprints were the common denominator.
Leslie Wilcox’s earlier PBS special on Arnone was the prime resource of the key interview, because in his prolific career, he was always the interviewer and researcher on his subjects, and never the interviewee.
Jerry Santos, right, the beloved Hawaiian entertainer, rendered “E Kuu Home O Kahaluu,” because that’s the number Arnone always asked him to share; Karen Keawehawai’i didn’t call out Bingo numbers, but yodeled beautifully; and Phil’s son Tony Arnone , left, brought his cello for a classical treatment of “Pearly Shells” and “Aloha Oe,” and said he forgives his dad for naming him Tony Arnone, which he had to live with while growing up. .…
And trusty Dennis Mahaffay, Arnone’s longtime buddy on the TV turf and life, documented the lovely program that should provide another kind of documentary that Arnone is awaiting to see from his heavenly perch. …
And that’s Show Biz. …