Disney’s 1989 Oscar-nominated classic The Little Mermaid is being given the live-action treatment, and a new version is expected to hit theaters in the spring. Following the success of adaptations like Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, and Cinderella, starring Lily James, it appears that Disney is stepping up to give the next generation of princess fans a new spin on the animated series.
Here is everything we currently know about the remake in case you’re wondering what to anticipate.
When will the movie The Little Mermaid come out?
Although the film’s release date was initially set for November 2019, the pandemic caused a further delay in production. It will now be available in May 2023.
Who plays the main character in The Little Mermaid?
Ariel will be played by Halle Bailey, who is well known as one half of the Grammy-nominated sibling duo Chloe x Halle. Bailey has been in front of the camera before. She played Sky on the TV show Grown-ish, but The Little Mermaid will be her first lead role in a feature film.
“After auditioning for this film when I was 18, just about to turn 19, to now finishing filming through a pandemic [after] I turned 21 ..we have finally made it,” Bailey wrote on Instagram after the movie wrapped up last summer. “I feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory..it has been the toughest experience being away from everything and everyone I’ve ever known, to feeling self doubt/ loneliness, but also feeling such freedom and perseverance as I’ve reached the end.”
When Bailey’s casting was announced in 2019, many people were happy for her, but she also got some racist comments. Bailey said in a recent interview that her family, especially her grandparents, helped her through that time:
“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’”
Who else will appear in The Little Mermaid?
The upcoming film, directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mary Poppins Returns), features a cast full of fan favorites as well as a few rising stars. Daveed Diggs, from Hamilton, will play the crustacean Sebastian, alongside Awkwafina as Scuttle the seagull and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.
Melissa McCarthy plays the villainous sorcerer Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King plays Prince Eric, and Javier Bardem plays King Triton. Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley also revealed that she will play a minor role in the film.
Will The Little Mermaid stick to the original’s plot?
The live-action The Little Mermaid is expected to follow the general plot of its predecessor, but no story details have been released. The music, which was written for the 1989 version by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken**, will most likely be different: Lin-Manuel Miranda will produce the new film and contribute some original songs.