After an exhaustive search, Disney has finally crowned a Prince Eric for its upcoming live-action musical remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’, in ‘World on Fire’ star Jonah Hauer-King. Hauer-King beat out ‘Krypton’ star Cameron Cuffe after pop star Harry Styles decided to pass on the role in favor of his music career. (Styles has a new album coming out on December 13.)
Halle Bailey has been cast to play Ariel, the film’s lead. In early October, it was reported that ‘Snowpiercer’ star Daveed Diggs was in final negotiations to provide the voice of Sebastian. And I don’t care what other sources are reporting, as far as I know, it has not been confirmed that Melissa McCarthy is playing Ursula, Javier Bardem is portraying King Triton, or that Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are voicing Flouder and Scuttle, respectively. They may wind up in the roles, but to my knowledge, Disney has not confirmed their castings.
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Other than ‘World on Fire’, Hauer-King most recently starred in the tearjerker ‘A Dog’s Way Home’. He will next be seen in the indie drama ‘Once Upon a Time in Staten Island’ with Naomi Watts and Frank Grillo, and he is presently filming the TV movie ‘Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar’.
This was the 30th anniversary of the animated ‘Little Mermaid’, which Disney released in 1989, and kicked off a renaissance of renewed classic animated pictures, followed by ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘The Lion King’, and more. That version won the Academy Awards for Best Original Score (for Alan Menken) and Best Original Song for “Under the Sea” (for Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman). The original music will be showcased in the live-action remake, with Menken penning new songs with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Ashman passed away in 1991.)
In celebration of the anniversary, last week, ABC aired the musical TV special ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’ which featured performances by Queen Latifah, Shaggy, and… er, John Stamos.
The new film version will be directed by ‘Mary Poppins Returns” Rob Marshall. The film does not yet have a release date, but filming is expected to begin in 2020.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter