Disney debuted the first look at its upcoming May 26 live-action version of The Little Mermaid, which will star Halle Bailey and be helmed by Rob Marshall. Check out the teaser up top. Bailey stated that this was her first exposure to Walt Disney Pictures’ movie footage. She remarked from the stage, “I’m sure everyone here can relate to Ariel and how special she is to all of us.
I never imagined that would happen when I was a young girl swimming in the pool and pretending to be a mermaid. … The three days I spent filming “Part of Your World” was the most beautiful of my life because I could experience all of her emotions, including her passion and discomfort. Playing those emotions was incredibly exciting, and Rob directing me and being such a moving force in this movie was an honor.
I have a special connection to this movie, Marshall, a Mary Poppins Returns nominee for an Oscar, said. I don’t know if you recall the excitement of hearing a musical in 1989. It had died because musicals had stopped. We could listen to people repeatedly singing despite the animation. I felt like I was in the most fantastic moment when Disney asked me to do this. It seemed to be fate.”
The film is an adaptation of the studio’s 1989 animated classic based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. The story’s main character is the mermaid princess Ariel, who strikes a Faustian deal with the sea witch Ursala to transform into a human and win the prince’s heart.
The original film, written and directed by Clements and John Musker, earned over $211 million worldwide and won Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Song, Best Music, and Original Score, in addition to two Golden Globes, a Grammy, and other honors. It was hailed as an instant classic upon its release.
The new adaptation, which features Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, and Javier Bardem as King Triton, was written by David Magee and Jane Goldman. The remaining cast members are Noma Dumezweni, Jessica Alexander, Daveed Diggs, Jude Akuwudike, Lorena Andrea, Kajsa Mohammad, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina.
In 2016, production on the live-action Little Mermaid began. The upcoming musical fantasy film will include songs from the original movie and brand-new songs written by Alan Menken with lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton. Along with Marc Platt and John DeLuca, Marshall and Miranda are producing the film. Jessica Virtue and Allison Ehrlichman are the studio’s project managers.
Today’s Little Mermaid announcement was made as part of Disney’s studio showcase, highlighting upcoming Disney and Pixar live-action and animated projects. The convention for this year is held at the Anaheim Convention Center through September 11.