Directed by Rob Marshall, the live-action musical brings to life the 1989 animated film with Halle Bailey starring as Ariel. The soundtrack is created by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken (who wrote the score for the 1989 “Little Mermaid” film) and will feature classics from the original movie in addition to four original songs.
“The Little Mermaid” features Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina, Jacob Tremblay voicing Flounder, Daveed Diggs voicing Sebastian and Awkwafina voicing Scuttle.
Bailey makes up half of the Grammy-nominated R&B duo Chloe x Halle. Her acting credits include “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Grown-ish” and “Last Holiday.”
When it was announced that a Black woman would play Ariel, some Twitter users erupted with the #NotMyAriel hashtag. The actor told Variety she turned to her grandparents for advice who provided their stories of racism amid the storm. “It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’” Bailey said.
The thought of inspiring young girls with the representation she did not have growing up also helped during the backlash, she said. “What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything,” Bailey said. “Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us.”
Miranda, Marshall, Russell Allen, John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Michael Zimmer are producing the live-action remake. Allison Erlikhman is serving as executive producer for the film with Jane Goldman and David Magee writing it.
“The Little Mermaid” premieres May 26. Watch the trailer below.
From Variety US