The new version features Halle Bailey as the mermaid Ariel alongside a familiar cast of current stars. The first full-length trailer suggests fans can expect a faithful overlap from the original movie, including scenes featuring the shipwreck that nearly drowns Prince Eric, the sea witch Ursula inviting Ariel to trade her voice for human legs, and Ariel singing “Part of Your World.”
Based loosely on the 19th-century fairy tale of the same name, Disney’s animated movie about requited love between a mermaid and a handsome prince featured the voices of Jodi Benson as Ariel, Christopher Daniel Barnes as Prince Eric and Pat Carroll as Ursula.
Here’s what “Little Mermaid” fans need to know about the upcoming movie.
When does ‘The Little Mermaid’ come out?
“The Little Mermaid” arrives in theaters May 26, 2023. Expect the film to migrate to Disney+ at some point.
Who is in the cast of ‘The Little Mermaid’?
The cast of the live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” is anchored by Halle Bailey, an actress and singer best known as half of the Grammy-nominated sister duo Chloe x Halle and for TV’s “Grown-ish.”
The recent Oscars telecast featured Bailey unveiling the film’s trailer. “It has been such an honor to step into the iconic role of Ariel,” she told the Dolby Theatre crowd. “It’s been an extraordinary experience – a dream come true for me.”
Melissa McCarthy plays Ariel’s nemesis, Ursula the sea witch. The comedian has said her performance was heavily inspired by Divine, the drag queen who found fame in John Waters films such as “Hairspray.”
Other cast members include Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Javier Bardem as King Triton and Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina.
What is ‘The Little Mermaid’ about?
Ariel is the youngest daughter of King Triton, ruler of the undersea kingdom of Atlantica. Although innately fascinated with the human world beyond the sea’s surface, the mermaid is forbidden to explore that realm.
After rescuing Prince Eric from a shipwreck, Ariel falls is love and becomes determined to join him in his world. That decision puts her in conflict with her father and also results in a deal with the sea witch to trade her beautiful singing voice for legs.
Where was ‘The Little Mermaid’ filmed?
The live-action “Little Mermaid” was green-lit more than six years ago, but the COVID-19 pandemic complicated filming, which took place at Pinewood Studios outside of London as well as on the Italian island of Sardinia.
Sardinia is known not only for its crystalline blue waters and pristine beaches but also as a preeminent summer tourist destination, especially for the jet-and-yacht set. Among the island’s most well known beach-front towns are Porto Cervo, Porto Rotondo and Santa Teresa di Gallura, the last of these being the reported location of “Mermaid” filming.
Who are the people making the live-action ‘Little Mermaid’?
Longtime Disney collaborator Rob Marshall directs. His credits include “Chicago,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Into the Woods.”
Returning to the project is composer Alan Menken, who is credited with the songs in the animated classic. He’s also the talent behind the music of other animated Disney favorites, including “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”
For the live-action version of “The Little Mermaid,” Menken collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “In the Heights”) to bring a few new songs to the story.
Who wrote ‘The Little Mermaid?’
Danish author Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The Little Mermaid,” one of his many children’s fairy tales. Andersen’s version of the mermaid’s tale was followed closely by Disney animators in the making of 1989’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Andersen’s works are familiar to many parents and children alike, and have served as the inspiration for many movies. Among the stories he wrote nearly 200 years ago are familiar tales such as “The Princess and the Pea,” “Thumbelina,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “The Ugly Duckling.”