Jonah Hauer-King will reportedly star as Prince Eric opposite actress Halle Bailey in Disney's forthcoming mocap-and-live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. The project has been casting for its male lead for a while, complete with a shortlist that at one point included Krypton star Cameron Cuffe and Harry Styles (who apparently passed on the part), but Variety now says that the role is all but cast. He joins a cast that includes Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem is King Triton, and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian. The film, from director Rob Marshall, is expected to go into production soon.
Marshall is excited to update the film for a new generation and the director previously spoke to ComicBook about adding new musical numbers to the classic soundtrack.
“There are things I’ve learned about how you have to work to integrate songs into story, and how it has to feel earned. It can’t just be sort of put there, placed there, because you feel there should be a song,” Marshall said.
“It has to be a song that’s earned, that takes you there. And so as we’re working on, in a way, fleshing out The Little Mermaid — Ariel has one song in the animated film — and so we’re looking for maybe more material.”
Of course Marshall will be joined by Disney fan-favorite songwriter Alan Menken, who also recently updated the soundtracks for the remakes of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Menken will be joined by one of Marshall's latest collaborators, with Hamilton scribe and Mary Poppins Returns star Lin-Manuel Miranda continuing his partnership with Walt Disney Studios.
Hauer-King is best known for his roles in A Dog's Way Home and World on Fire.
The Little Mermaid is one of Disney's highest-profile and most beloved films and Ariel is one of the most popular Disney Princesses. Should the live-action film come to fruition, it will join other Disney classics in getting the live-action treatment, including Aladdin, Mulan, and Dumbo.
You can check out the official description of The Little Mermaid below.1comments
"The Little Mermaid, one of the most celebrated animated films of all time, is now spectacularly transformed for the first time on Blu-ray, with a new to-of-the-art digitally restored picture and brilliant high definition sound! Venture under the sea where Ariel, a free-spirited mermaid princess; longs to be part of the human world. After bravely striking a bargain with Ursula, a sneaky sea witch, Ariel embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. With Flounder and Sebastian at her side, Ariel will need all of her courage and determination to make things right in both her worlds."
Disney has not yet dated its live-action re-imagining of The Little Mermaid.