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Everything We Know About Disney's "The Little Mermaid" Live-Action Film

Seventeen logo Seventeen 7/12/2021 Samantha Olson
Chloe Bailey wearing a headset: Disney fans are anticipating their latest live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid," which brings the iconic princess mermaid to life. Find out more info about the movie here! © Courtney Chavez - Disney Disney fans are anticipating their latest live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid," which brings the iconic princess mermaid to life. Find out more info about the movie here!

Disney's given their beloved animated films the live-action treatment for a while now, and their upcoming release of The Little Mermaid will be nothing short of epic. The original Little Mermaid was actually part of Disney's Renaissance, which birthed iconic animated films like Aladdin and The Lion King (which also turned live-action in the 2010s). Just like Princess Ariel can't wait to swap her mermaid fin for some human legs, we’re already getting excited to see the live-action rendition of this classic come to life.

Here's everything we know about The Little Mermaid's live-action film so far.

What is The Little Mermaid about?

The original story of The Little Mermaid follows 16-year-old Ariel, a mermaid who's fascinated with life on land. Her strict father King Triton has forbidden her to go on land in an attempt to protect her, but she goes anyway and falls for a human prince. She then makes a dangerous deal with Ursula, a sea witch who steals Ariel's voice in exchange for turning her into a human for three days. Things start to go wrong for Ariel once Ursula starts to work her evil magic, but with help from her dad and sea friends, the mermaid must figure out a way to find her voice.

Who has been cast in the movie so far?

Chloe Bailey holding a sign posing for the camera: gettyimages-1166544609 © Rodin Eckenroth - Getty Images gettyimages-1166544609

Halle Bailey of sister R&B music duo Chloe x Halle and Freeform's Grown-ish is set to slide into Ariel's fin as the iconic princess. Disney received tons of praise for casting a Black actress as Ariel in an attempt to be more inclusive and represent all people.

"After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role," director Rob Marshall said in an interview with Variety.

Other A-listers will be taking their talents to the film, too. Jacob Tremblay — who actually just starred in another Disney film, Luca — is set to play Ariel's BFF Flounder while Daveed Diggs will play Sebastian the lobster. As for Ursula, Melissa McCarthy will take on the role of the sea witch. Awkwafina is also giving new flair to Scuttle the seagull, while Javier Bardem will be King Triton under the sea.

Although Harry Styles was originally set to play Prince Eric, he declined the role to embark on a tour to support his album Fine Line. Since then, English actor Jonah Hauer King has signed on as Ariel's love interest.

Also joining the cast are Noma Dumezweni, Jessica Alexander, Russell Balogh, Adrian Christopher and Emily Coates. According to a report by Digital Spy, their specific roles have not been publicly released yet.

Will the original songs be in the movie?

If you grew up singing along to the absolute bops that are "Part of Your World," "Kiss the Girl" and "Under the Sea," you're probably wondering if these songs will make their way to the live-action version of The Little Mermaid. The short answer is: yes and no.

Award-winning actor, singer and songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda will be teaming up with the music composer of The Little Mermaid's animated film, Alan Menken to write new songs for the live-action version. According to ScreenRant, some of the old songs will also be included. There are no details on which ones will be featured yet, but I honestly can't wait to hear what Lin has cooking as he wrote the music for Disney's Moana in 2016.

Have they already started filming?

Production started in 2020 and was originally based in London, but had to be pushed back during the Coronavirus pandemic, which Halle said "caused everyone to slow down." The Little Mermaid is currently filming in Sardina, Italy. Halle and Jonah were seen filming a scene on a boat (for "Kiss the Girl," perhaps?) on a beach on June 28, 2021.

In an Instagram post, Halle revealed that filming for The Little Mermaid wrapped on July 12. "After auditioning for this film when I was 18 just about to turn 19, to now finishing filming through a pandemic when I turned 21... we have finally made it... I feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory," she said in the photo's caption.

When is the movie coming out?

The movie was originally set to come out earlier this year, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, production was put on hold for a while. No official release date has been confirmed by Disney just yet.


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