Fan art created by BossLogic imagines Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews as King Triton in Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid.
View this post on Instagram
The America's Got Talent host expressed enthusiasm for the role over the weekend when he tweeted fan art showing him under the sea, excitedly tweeting, "Ariel's Dad!!!!" with the hashtag "ArielsGotTerry."
Disney's Rob Marshall-directed Little Mermaid has set actress and singer Halle Bailey (Grown-ish) as Ariel, the mermaid princess who yearns to explore the human world above the surface. Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) and Jacob Tremblay (The Predator) will join Bailey as sidekicks Scuttle and Flounder, respectively; Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy is in talks to co-star as villainous undersea witch Ursula.
Original Little Mermaid star Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the 1989 animated original, spoke out against backlash facing the 19-year-old star when some Internet commentors took issue with Disney casting a POC actress in the role of a character originally depicted as white.
"The most important thing for a film is to be able to tell a story," Benson said during a Florida convention appearance over the weekend, as reported by ComicBook.com.
"We need to be storytellers. And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I'm tall or thin, whether I'm overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story."
Disney has not yet revealed who will fill the role of King Triton or Prince Eric, the film's male lead and romantic interest. The studio has yet to date its live-action Little Mermaid, but Disney has staked out release dates of October 8, 2021 and May 27, 2022 for untitled live-action films.