Halle Bailey is the new siren of the sea. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the latest animated classic to get a live-action remake, following in the footsteps of other hits from Beauty and the Beast to Cruella. They say there’s nothing like a classic, but Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid looks like it’s going to be the dreamiest nautical fairytale yet.
The reimagined Disney classic is exciting in more ways than one. Not only do Disney fans get to see a new twist on a fan favorite, but a Black woman is playing Ariel for the first time, which makes Bailey’s role all the more empowering.
“I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it,” Bailey told Variety at the Power of Young Hollywood gala.
What is not yet clear is how close the film plans to stick to the original. As fans of the live-action remakes of Disney classic know, these films can range from telling an utterly different story (like the Sleeping Beauty remake, Maleficent) to a nearly perfect carbon copy of the animated film (like 2017’s hit Beauty and the Beast). Being set underwater, it seems like a live-action version would not be able to recapture the animated visuals of the sea to quite the same extent. But time will tell.
Ahead of the film’s release, here’s every detail to know:
The Little Mermaid First Look
Fans finally got their first look at Disney’s live action Little Mermaid when star Halle Bailey posted an image celebrating the end of filming on July 12, 2021. Although it’s not fully clear when this sunset photo takes place in the film, it’s reminiscent of the end of the song “Part of Your World” from the animated film. Depending on how close the live action movie hews to the 1989 classic, this could be the first glimpse fans have of that famous number.
In her post she thanked the entire main cast, from co-star Jonah Hauer-King to Melissa McCarthy, calling the shoot a “tough experience” but one that made her stronger.
The Little Mermaid Cast Members
Directed by Rob Marshall, the film will include music from the original movie as well as elements both old and new. Halle Bailey will play Ariel, while Jonah Hauer-King (World on Fire) will play her Prince, Eric.
Also joining the star-studded cast in CGI roles: Melissa McCarthy (voicing Ursula), Awkwafina (voicing Scuttle the seagull), Daveed Diggs (voicing Sebastian) and Jacob Tremblay (voicing Flounder).
In addition to A-listers like Bailey, McCarthy, and Awkwafina, Javier Bardem will be joining the cast as King Triton. Additionally, it was announced Jessica Alexander will be joining the cast (in a currently unspecified role).
The Little Mermaid Soundtrack
The Little Mermaid will feature songs from the original 1989 film, but will also feature new music from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Little Mermaid Release Date
The Little Mermaid has moved down the calendar several times due to the coronavirus pandemic. The film was initially slated for 2020 and then moved to July 2021. The film is currently on hold, although with filming now wrapped, fans are hopeful a new release date will be announced soon.
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