Disney’s animated classic The Little Mermaid is coming to life as a live-action adaptation. The movie was first released in 1989 and is a musical loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name. It follows the adventures of Ariel, a teenage mermaid, who falls in love with a human and strikes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula. The film is set to hit theaters soon, and here’s everything we know about it so far…
The Little Mermaid’s live-action adaptation has received both backlash and praise, as is typical for any remake of childhood nostalgia. The film will star Halle Bailey as Ariel and will be directed by Rob Marshall, who is known for directing the movie musical version of Broadway’s Chicago. The original composer, Alan Menken, is set to return to score and will write new songs in collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda, one of the film’s producers.
The first full theatrical trailer for The Little Mermaid was released during the Oscars 2023. The trailer shows Halle Bailey’s Ariel rescuing Prince Eric from a shipwreck, after which King Triton warns her about her obsession with humans. The trailer features glimpses of Ariel’s various costumes and glam looks, Ursula, and life on land.
The second teaser trailer for the film was released on February 15, 2023, in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary and to mark 100 days until the movie’s release. The teaser shows Halle as Ariel adorably blowing kisses to a pufferfish, swimming among jellyfish, and almost kissing Prince Eric. It also provides a sneak peek at Ursula’s eyes and tentacles and features her villainous laugh for the first time.
The very first teaser trailer for The Little Mermaid was released in September 2022. The teaser takes viewers on a journey through the ocean and ends with Halle as Ariel singing “Part of Your World.” Halle Bailey was announced as Ariel back in July 2019. Director Rob Marshall said in a statement that Halle had the “rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance” to play the iconic role. Halle is one-half of the singing duo Chloe x Halle with her sister, Chlöe Bailey. Halle previously acted in small parts in movies like Last Holiday and Disney Channel’s Let It Shine. She is best known for her role as Sky Forster in the series, Grown-ish.
Halle’s casting received immense racial backlash online, and social media users started the hashtag #NotMyAriel. However, Halle did not explicitly address the backlash until summer 2022. She looked to her grandparents who lived through years of discrimination for advice on how to overcome such hate. “It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’” she said.
The Little Mermaid’s live-action adaptation is highly anticipated, and we can’t wait to see Halle Bailey take on the iconic role.