If a studio isn’t Disney, they should probably not try to be Disney. Just weeks ago, a live-action ‘Little Mermaid’ movie from Conglomerate Media was released in a meager 200 theaters with a deal to arrive on Netflix shortly thereafter. This follows the announcement in July that Warner Brothers’ live-action ‘Mowgli’ will also go directly to Netflix, with the only the 3D edition appearing in theaters. Meanwhile, Disney is preparing live-action versions of ‘Cruella De Vil’ (starring Emma Stone), ‘Dumbo’ (directed by Tim Burton), ‘Aladdin’ (starring Will Smith), ‘The Lion King’ (directed by Jon Favreau, the vision behind the smash hit ‘Jungle Book’, starring Beyoncé and Donald Glover), ‘Lady and the Tramp’ (with Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux and Kiersey Clemons), and many more beyond that. If these do even remotely as well as ‘Beauty & The Beast’ or ‘Jungle Book’, Disney will be shoveling a lot more gold into Scrooge McDuck’s vault.
Another of their projects, ‘The Little Mermaid’ has reportedly found its Ariel in Zendaya. Zendaya’s big break came via Disney on the tween musical sitcom ‘Shake It Up’, which she followed up with another Disney series, ‘KC Undercover’. Of late, she starred in the smash musical ‘The Greatest Showman’ and she has the role of Michelle “MJ” Jones in the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise. So Zendaya can sing as well as act, making her a solid choice to play Ariel.
Though neither Disney nor Zendaya’s reps have made any official statement, the rumor is that Disney isn’t just considering Zendaya for the role, but that they have already offered it to her. Previously, it was rumored that Disney was considering Keke Palmer, but they apparently moved on. Another name that has popped up is Ariana Grande, but according to the same sources, she was never considered by Disney.
Of course, because the internet sucks, the news that Zendaya, who is biracial, maybe playing Ariel has got folks slinging the typical racist remarks, which I will not be quoting or linking to here, but you can find them pretty easily if that’s your jam.
‘Mary Poppins Returns’ director Rob Marshall will also helm ‘The Little Mermaid’. Original composer Alan Menkin will provide the music, collaborating with ‘Moana”s Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film does not yet have a release date.
Source: The D Insider