Broadway Star Phillipa Soo Joins Disney’s ‘Moana’

Disney’s upcoming animated feature already has some major Broadway street cred, with Hamilton mastermind and future star Lin-Manuel Miranda on board to co-write the film’s songs. And now he’ll be joined by Hamilton co-star Phillipa Soo.

The actress currently stars alongside Miranda in the Broadway musical as Eliza Schuyler, Alexander Hamilton’s wife, and is now set to make her voice-acting debut in Moana. While little is known about the role, we do know that Soo will play a villager on Motunui, the island home of the title character.

Soo is best known for her role in Hamilton, which earned the performer a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. That’s particularly impressive considering the production marked her Broadway debut. Outside of theater, fans might remember Soo from her recurring role as Lexi on NBC’s TV musical Smash.

The film is set nearly 2,000 years ago and tells the story of Moana, a young girl in who embarks on a mission to save her people and prove she’s a master navigator. Newcomer Auli’i Cravalho will play the main character, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as her companion Maui, a once-mighty demigod.

Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda in 'Hamilton.'

Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda in ‘Hamilton.’

The apparent Broadway influence on Moana makes perfect sense, especially following the success of 2013’s Frozen. The animated musical’s award-winning songs were written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, both respected in the world of theater. Robert Lopez was a particularly great find for Disney, considering he co-created the Tony Award-winning musicals The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. The film also had Tony winner Idina Menzel and Tony nominee Jonathan Groff in starring roles, bringing their expert singing to the animated adventure. Naturally, Disney wants to replicate the massive success of Frozen, and the inclusion of Lin-Manuel Miranda as a writer and Phillipa Soo as a performer could help bring similar success to Moana.

Moana will hit theaters November 23. Are you excited for the musical adventure? Let us know in the comments below.