Thomas Kail to Direct MOANA Live Action Remake

Kail has served as director for Broadway shows like Hamilton and Sweeney Todd.

By: May. 31, 2023
Thomas Kail to Direct MOANA Live Action Remake

Tony winner Thomas Kail has been tapped to direct Disney's upcoming live action film remake of Moana.

The film will reunite Kail with the film's songwriter, Lin-Manuel Miranda, after they previously collaborated on Hamilton.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Kail joins along with the original film's writer Jared Bush, who will return to write the screenplay for the remake with Dana Ledoux Miller.

In April, Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson revealed that the new film is in the works and that he is planning on reprising his role as Maui. Original Moana voice actress Auli'i Cravalho will be an executive producer on the film.

About Thomas Kail

Kail recently directed the new Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd. In 2016, he won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Hamilton.

His other Broadway directing credits include In the Heights; Freestyle Love Supreme; Lombardi; and Magic/Bird.

Off-Broadway selected directing credits include the world premiere of Hamilton, Dry Powder, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Kings at The Public Theater; the world premiere of The Wrong Man at MCC theatre, the world premiere of In the Heights, Broke-ology, and the world premiere of When I Come to Die at Lincoln Center Theater; and the world premiere of Daphne’s Dive at Signature Theatre. 

On screen, Kail is known for directing and producing Fosse/Verdon on FX and Grease: Live on Fox.

About the Moana Live Action Remake

Like its animated predecessor, the film will celebrate the islands, communities and traditions of Pacific Islanders as seen through the eyes of a young woman eager to pave her own path. Moana's journey of self-discovery and reflection on the lives of her ancestors won hearts worldwide, as did her newfound friendship with an exiled demigod named Maui.

Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Moana" debuted in theaters on Nov. 23, 2016, grossing nearly $644 million in global box office. The title, which debuted on Disney+ with the streamer's 2019 launch, is among the top 15 movies streamed in the United States in 2022.

The film's soundtrack, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina, was lauded worldwide. Miranda won a GRAMMY for best song written for visual media ("How Far I'll Go"), and an Oscar® nomination for best achievement in music written for motion pictures - original song ("How Far I'll Go").

In 2021, the "Moana" soundtrack broke a Billboard Soundtrack chart record for the amount of time spent at number one (52 weeks). Additionally, the film was nominated for an Academy Award (best animated feature film of the year), a BAFTA (best animated feature film) and a pair of Golden Globes® (best motion picture - animated and best original song ("How Far I'll Go")

Photo Credit: Bruce Glikas


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