Paramount's live-action Dora the Explorer casts Transformers: The Last Knight star Isabela Moner. Nickelodeon found great success at the turn of the millennium when they launched the animated show Dora the Explorer. The series ran for eight seasons before coming to a close in the summer of 2014. The series was so successful that they even launched a spinoff series in 2005 that followed Dora's cousin. The network, then, launched a sequel series, Dora and Friends: Into the Series, that focused on an older version the title adventurer.
Aside from reruns, though, Dora was an dormant IP until Paramount and Michael Bay's production studio, Platinum Dunes, announced plans for a live-action Dora film. Nick Stoller (Storks) was announced to write the script, and a few weeks back, Muppets Most Wanted helmer James Bobin became attached as the director. Now, it has its star.
THR reveals Paramount has named Isabela Moner as the star of Dora the Explorer. Paramount and Michael Bay are very familiar with Moner after she starred in Transformers 5 last year as a strong-willed, tech-savvy kid Izabella. Moner is currently 16 years old, but will be 17 throughout the film's production, which confirms this will be a more mature version than the 7-10 year old kid that the animated shows took on these wild adventures. Moner is very excited for this opportunity as well:
"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 casting of Moner makes a ton of sense considering her connections with the studio already and since she starred in Nickelodeon's 100 Things to Do Before High School. She's proved she can handle a major role in a major motion picture. She was effectively the heart of Transformers 5 and tasked with several emotional scenes along the way. But, her true dramatic chops will be on full display later this summer when she stars in Sicario: Day of the Soldado. The latest trailer for the Sicario sequel shows quite a bit of Moner, and it looks like she is ready to make the leap to franchise lead that she'll take with Dora.
Now that Moner is onboard, the rest of the cast should start to be announced. It could very well be a primarily voice-centered supporting cast though. Dora's supporting cast are her monkey Boots and her talking map and backpack, obviously named Map and Backpack. Dora the Explorer's antagonist is primarily Swiper the Fox, and all of those roles (if they're all included) would just need voices to CG creations. The only other actual person that is confirmed to be in the movie is her cousin Diego. As the casting process continues, hopefully, the film at least addresses what is up with the parents and why these young kids are going on these big adventures in the first place.
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) release date: Aug 09, 2019