Will the Live Action ‘Moana’ Be Hamilton-ized?

Moana looking sad/defeated
Credit: Disney

What’s Hamilton-ized? A word this writer just made up defined as “having a similarity or relation to the Broadway musical Hamilton.”

Moana Re-made


Credit: Disney

Earlier this year, Disney announced plans to create another live action remake. This time, they focused on the animated film Moana (2016). Dwayne Johnson is set to return as Maui, the demigod of the wind and sea, while Auliʻi Cravalho, who voiced Moana, will not be reprising her role but instead serving as one of the film’s executive producers.

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It was announced this week that the Tony Award-winning director of Hamilton (2020), Thomas Kail, has been tapped to direct the live action Moana (2025). Although Kail did direct the filmed staged production of Hamilton (2020) for Disney plus, Moana (2025) will be his first feature film.

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As many may (or may not know), Lin Manuel Miranda, who famously wrote and performed in Hamilton (2020), also wrote the music for Moana (2016) and Encanto (2022). So how much Hamilton-y can Moana (2025) get?


Credit: Disney

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Will He Throw Away His Shot?

I doubt we will see powdered wigs and revolver-based duals appearing in the new Moana (2025) movie. However, given the controversial musical decisions by Lin Manuel Miranda over his changes to music in The Little Mermaid (2023), maybe Disney fans should be a little concerned. Will Moana (2025) have a version of ‘Scuttlebutt’ sung by Hei Hei or Pua?


Credit: Disney

It’s always tricky when remaking a movie – animated or not. There are always critics, comparisons to the original, and there will always be a portion of the audience that hates it. It could also be risky, bringing a Broadway-based director to work on a feature film. Sometimes experts in one medium do not do well in another.

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Moana (2016) and Hamilton (2020) are both excellent productions whose popularity has carried the stories, characters, and songs through multiple years – which is not always easy. Hopefully, when the new live action Moana (2025) does arrive, it maintains the integrity of the original animation and doesn’t get too Hamilton-ized.

About Steven Wilk