What we know about live-action remake of The Little Mermaid

14th Aug 19 | Entertainment News

Halle Bailey will star as Ariel.

2019 Teen Choice Awards – Arrivals

It appeared the highly anticipated live-action remake of The Little Mermaid had found another of its leading actors.

But Harry Styles, who had been approached to play Prince Eric, turned down the chance to star opposite Halle Bailey’s Ariel.

And most of the other roles are still up for grabs in the Rob Marshall-directed movie.

Here is what we know so far about Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of its classic films.

Disney is still looking for its Prince Eric

Harry Styles The Little Mermaid
Contrary to reports, Harry Styles will not be starring as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid remake (Ian West/PA)

While it appeared certain that Styles would be playing Eric, the former One Direction star decided against the role.

Fans expressed their disappointment online and suggested alternatives.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before star Noah Centineo and Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes were both popular choices.

Halle Bailey will play Ariel

The 19-year-old singer and actress has supported Beyonce on tour but was largely unknown when Disney announced in July she would be playing Ariel.

While the move was mostly met with a positive response, including from celebrities such as Halle Berry and Mariah Carey, some social media users were unhappy at an African-American being cast as a a traditionally white princess.

The hashtags #NotMyAriel and #NotMyMermaid appeared on Twitter. Bailey has since responded to the controversy, and said she does not pay attention to the negativity online.

Melissa McCarthy could play Ursula

It has been reported that the Oscar-nominated star of Can You Ever Forgive Me? was in talks to play villainous sea witch Ursula.

However, many fans were not impressed and pointed to the fact the 1989 animated version of Ursula was partly inspired by American drag queen Divine, so the role should be given to an LGBT performer.

And pop star Lizzo threw her hat in the ring, writing on Twitter that it was her “dream” to play the character.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is behind the music

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will team up with composer Alan Menken for the music on The Little Mermaid (So TV/PA)

Miranda is the brain behind two of the biggest Broadway hits of recent times – In The Heights and Hamilton.

He will work on the music for the film alongside composer Alan Menken, who scored the 1989 original.

The re-imagining will feature songs from the first film as well as original music.

Miranda considers himself a huge fan of The Little Mermaid and he named his son Sebastian, partly because of the film.

Director and release date

Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall is on directing duties for The Little Mermaid remake (Ian West/PA)

Rob Marshall, an Emmy Award-winning film-maker who was at the helm for 2002’s Chicago and 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns, is on directing duties.

He will also produce along with Miranda, John DeLuca and Marc Platt.

While no release date has been announced, The Little Mermaid is set to go into production in early 2020.

© Press Association 2019

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