Paramount Pictures has announced that Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) has signed on to star as the iconic title character in Dora the Explorer. This live-action adaptation of the long-running animated series is being produced under the studio's Paramount Players division, which mines properties from Paramount and its parent corporation Viacom, for new film and television adaptations. Here's what Brian Robbins, President of Paramount Players, had to say in his statement about the casting.
"We are thrilled to have found our Dora in Isabela. Dora has long been a celebrated, strong heroine in animated television, and like Dora, Isabela has an incredible spirit and is an advocate for positive values. With our partners at Nickelodeon, we look forward to continuing Dora's story for generations to come."
Dora the Explorer was created by Eric Weiner, Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh, debuting on Nickelodeon in 2000. The popular animated series followed Dora, along with her pet monkey named Boots and her cousin Diego, as they went on a series of adventures that were both entertaining and educational. While no specifics were given for this feature adaptation, Dora will be joined by both Boots and Diego, although it remains to be see who will be portraying these characters at this time. Another big change from the original series is that Dora will be a teenager, instead of a seven-year-old like the original show. Here's what Isabela Moner had to say in her statement, revealing that she grew up on the original series.
"I'm honored and excited to bring Dora to life. I grew up watching the show, and for me, especially as a Latina, Dora was an amazing role model, she is a strong, adventurous and fun-loving girl. I can't wait to put on the backpack and begin her next adventure!"
The original series spanned eight seasons and 196 episodes between 2000 and 2013, and also spawned a number of video games and straight-to-video movies. Paramount first announced this adaptation back in 2015, when Tom Wheeler (Puss in Boots) was brought on to write the script, but there was no real traction on the project until Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) was brought on to write the script, and Michael Bay was set to produce through his Platinum Dunes company in October. James Bobin (The Muppets) is directing from a script that has now been worked on by both Nick Stoller and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (New Girl, LA to Vegas).
The last we heard about Dora the Explorer was in February, when Paramount set an August 2, 2019 release date, putting the live-action adaptation up against 20th Century Fox's long-delayed The New Mutants and an unspecified Warner Bros. event film. The project reunites Isabela Moner with Michael Bay, who directed her in last year's Transformers: The Last Knight. The actress will next be see in the upcoming action-thriller sequel Sicario: The Day of the Soldado, alongside Benicio del Toro, in theaters June 29, and Instant Family, alongside Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne and Octavia Spencer, which is currently in production and slated for release on February 15, 2019.Deadline broke the news on this Dora the Explorer casting.