Grammy and Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs has been filming TNT’s upcoming sci-fi series ‘Snowpiercer’ about an Earth frozen to the core and covered in ice and snow. But things are about to warm up, as he is in final negotiations to provide the voice for Rastafarian crab Sebastian in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’. It is Sebastian (voiced by Samuel E. Wright in the original animated movie) that sang the classic “Under the Sea” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It won the same prize at the Golden Globes, plus the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.
Diggs first gained attention for his Tony-award winning roles as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway sensation ‘Hamilton‘, and it just so happens that Miranda is contributing new songs for the live-action ‘Little Mermaid’, in collaboration with original composer Alan Menken.
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‘Mary Poppins Returns” Rob Marshall will direct, and Halle Bailey has been cast to play Ariel. There are conflicting reports, but it does not look as though Melissa McCarthy has officially signed on to play Ursula yet, although she was reported to be in talks in June. It has also been reported that Javier Bardem was in talks to play King Triton, with Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina set to voice Flounder and Scuttle, respectively.
Reggae pop artist Shaggy (“Boombastic,” “It Wasn’t Me”) will be providing Sebastian’s voice in ABC’s upcoming special ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’.
Following his ‘Hamilton’ success, Diggs wrote, produced and starred in ‘Blindspotting’, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. He also appeared in Netflix’s film ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ and on the sitcom ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’. More recently, he appeared in Amazon Prime’s ‘Undone’.
‘The Little Mermaid’ may begin production by the end of the year. Digg’s upcoming series, ‘Snowpiercer’ is expected to arrive on TNT in the spring.