Production is underway on Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid and the cast just got a new addition while cameras are rolling. Deadline reports that somewhat necomer Jessica Alexander, having previously appeared in the Disney Channel original series Penny on M.A.R.S. and starred in the BBC/Netflix series Get Even, has landed a part in the film. It's unclear what role Alexander will have in the movie but she'll star alongside Halle Bailey who will take on the part of Ariel, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Melissa McCarthy as the evil sea witch Ursula. Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall steps behind the camera for the film.
Other cast members set to appear in the movie include an all-star voice cast for the talking/singing animals including Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian. The Hamilton star previously revealed he will speak in a Caribbean accent for the re-imagining and previously told told The Hollywood Reporter: "I was never gunning to be in these Disney remakes and, if I'm being honest, Sebastian comes with a lot of responsibility. For a lot of folks my age who are from the Caribbean, Sebastian was the first time they'd really seen themselves in American film, and I'm not Caribbean, so," Diggs said, adding: "We'll see if people crucify me for it."
It is expected that the live-action version will feature the original songs from the 1989 animated blockbuster as well as new tracks composed by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who collaborated with Diggs on Hamilton.
"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 previously told ComicBook.com. "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."
Disney has not announced a release date for its live-action Little Mermaid, which the studio will release into theaters. Other live-action adaptations of Disney's animated films include the Emma Stone-starring Cruella (May 28), Peter Pan & Wendy for streaming on Disney+, and Pinocchio, also a straight-to-streaming release reuniting Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis with star Tom Hanks in the role of Geppetto.