The enormous success of Frozen II will likely have a big impact on Disney’s release strategy. For nearly 20 years, the studio had a moratorium on theatrically-released animated sequels due to The Rescuers Down Under flopping back in 1990. However, the second outing for Elsa and Anna doing so well at the box office proves that there’s no worry of that happening anymore. So, no doubt there will now be more follow-ups to other recent hits on the way. And one film that might be getting a spinoff is Moana.
We’ve already told you that the Mouse House is looking into doing a sequel to the pic, but now we’re hearing that they’re interested in a spinoff, too, which would see Dwayne Johnson return as Maui, the Polynesian demigod, in a prequel to the popular 2016 movie.
According to our sources – the same ones who also told us an Aladdin sequel was in the works, and that Bill Murray was returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, both of which are now confirmed – the project would explore Maui’s origin story and how he became a demigod in the first place. As it would be set hundreds of years before the events of Moana, then, don’t expect Auliʻi Cravalho back as the titular heroine. Instead, a new female lead will be created, who we’re told will be a Latina princess.
Our intel is also pointing to Lin-Manuel Miranda returning to work on the soundtrack once again. Miranda has become a Disney fixture over the past few years – he’s currently contributing to the score of The Little Mermaid remake – so it’s no surprise to hear that he’ll be providing new songs for the Moana spinoff. Especially as the first one bagged a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for “How Far I’ll Go.”
Moana fans might be wondering whether an origins story for Maui is really necessary, as we already know most of the important facts about him – he was born human but his parents abandoned him, only for the gods to imbue him with powers and give him his magical hook, which grants him shapeshifting abilities. Though we might know how the story will develop, there could still be room to do something fresh. And besides, more of the charismatic character can only be a good thing.
Tell us, though, would you like to see a Maui-focused Moana follow-up? Let us if you’re welcoming this development in the comments section below.