Disney is going back under the sea!
As part of its slate of live-action film remakes, such as Aladdin and The Lion King, the studio will readapt its 1989 classic, The Little Mermaid. The movie was previously made into a Broadway musical in 2008.
Disney hasn’t confirmed when The Little Mermaid will start shooting or come out, but the team around the film is beginning to form. Here’s everything we know.
The movie will feature songs from the original as well as new ones.
And Lin-Manuel Miranda is working on the new music.
The Hamilton and Moana composer, 39, began working on new songs for the film with original composer Alan Menken in 2017. The year before, Disney announced he would be an executive producer on the film.
A noted Little Mermaid fan himself — he named his son Sebastian because of the movie — Miranda told Vulture he’s “intimidated” to work on the movie, especially because of why Disney chose him. “Basically they were like, ‘There’s no bigger fan of this movie than you, and no bigger public supporter,’” Miranda said.
Miranda will be re-teaming with his Mary Poppins Returns director for the film.
After directing Miranda in last year’s hit nanny sequel, Rob Marshall will dive into another musical with The Little Mermaid. Marshall was Oscar-nominated for directing 2003’s Chicago before going on to make Into the Woods (2014) and Nine (2009).
Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula …
Variety reported the news in late June. The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor, 48, has never starred in a musical, but isn’t new to revamps, having starred in 2016’s gender-swapped Ghostbusters.
But Lizzo wants the role.
The “Truth Hurts” singer, 31, dressed as Ursula for Halloween last year and posted a video at the time of her singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” Ursula’s signature number.
She retweeted the video with a sad eyes emoji the day the news about McCarthy came out. Fans, including Broadway star Cynthia Erivo, have voiced their support for putting Lizzo in the role.
Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay may also join the team.
The two are in talks to voice Scuttle and Flounder, respectively, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Awkwafina’s Scuttle would be a gender-swapped role — Buddy Hackett voiced the seagull in the original animated movie.
Awkwafina, 31, broke out with last year’s Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, while Tremblay, 12, was nominated for a Screen Actors’ Guild award for his performance in Room in 2015.
Zendaya wants to be Ariel.
Rumors have floated for months that the Euphoria star will play Ariel in the movie. Last September, she told PEOPLE she’d be interested.
“I loved The Little Mermaid,” Zendaya said. “It is honestly one of my favorite movies of all time. I was obsessed with it when I was a little kid.”
Some fans took it as a sign when Zendaya stepped out with red hair — just like Ariel — at a photo call for Spider Man: Far from Home. (Spider-Man fans, meanwhile, thought it might be evidence of a turn her character will take in future movies.)
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