It appears that Javier Bardem is in talks to join Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ in the role of King Triton, the father of Ariel, who will be played by Halle Bailey. (Boo! Terry Crews or nobody! Who else can play a character who never wears a shirt?! Plus, now what? Is Ariel adopted? Are we throwing that wrinkle into the story?)
*Ahem* Anyway… Bardem is currently filming Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’, in which he appears as Stilgar. He has last seen in the Spanish-language movie ‘Everybody Knows’ (‘Todos lo saben’) with his wife Penélope Cruz. He previously worked with Disney when he portrayed Captain Salazar in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’. He won an Oscar in 2007 for the Coen Brothers film ‘No Country for Old Men’. He was attached to star as Frankenstein’s Monster in Universal’s Dark Universe series of movies, which are believed to have been scrapped.
‘Mary Poppins Returns” Rob Marshall is directing this new version of ‘The Little Mermaid’. The news of Bardem’s negotiations follows the news that pop singer Harry Styles was in talks to play Prince Eric. It was previously announced that Melissa McCarthy was negotiating to play Ursula, with Awkwafina for Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay for Flounder.
David Magee wrote the screenplay, with Alan Menken handling the music. Menken also wrote the music for the 1989 animated original, which earned him an Academy Award. He also won for Best Original Song for “Under the Sea.” For the new movie, he is collaborating with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is penning lyrics for new songs for the live-action version.
Production on ‘The Little Mermaid’ is expected to begin in April 2020.
Disney’s current live-action hit, ‘Aladdin’ is closing in on the billion-dollar mark at the cinema. This weekend, ‘The Lion King’ is being eyed to open in the $140 million range.