Zendaya gained fame as a Disney star on the sitcoms ‘Shake It Up’ and ‘K.C. Undercover’, so it would make sense that the House of Mouse would turn to her when the time came to cast a live action version of one of its famed princesses. But it seems that reports that she is playing Ariel in the live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’ appear to be premature.
Zendaya’s voice can currently be heard in an animated movie that is not by Disney, but Warner Brothers, ‘Smallfoot’. It was while promoting that film, that she address the discussion of her possibly playing Ariel.
“Rumor. Just rumors, for now… We’ll see.”
The idea of Zendaya, who is biracial, playing Ariel, who was depicted as Caucasian in the 1989 animated film, has caused controversy. The Disney film was based on a short story by Hans Christian Anderson, who was Danish, so some feel that the live-action Ariel should take after that, even though the animated movie really never mentioned where it took place geographically.
It was recently rumored that Disney was also eyeing ‘A Star Is Born”s Lady Gaga for a role, which most assume is Ursula, the sea witch that serves as the villain of this story.
Disney may be known for its popular princesses, but 2019 belongs to the fellas. Next on Disney’s slate is the live action ‘Dumbo’, directed by Tim Burton, which opens on March 29. That will be followed by ‘Aladdin’, starring Will Smith as the Genie, which arrives on May 24. On July 19, that will be followed by ‘The Lion King’, directed by ‘The Jungle Book”s Jon Favreau, and starring Donald Glover and Beyoncé.
The animated Ariel, once again voiced by Jodi Benson– who provided her voice in the 1989 original– will show up in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ on November 21.
Zendaya is currently filming ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ which opens on July 5, 2019. She will also shed her Disney image in the edgy HBO series ‘Euphoria’ which premieres sometime in 2019.
Would you like to see Zendaya as Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid’?