Disney fans will have to wait until 2023 for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, but Halle Bailey (Ariel) promises it will be worth the wait. The movie is set to feature new music by Disney Legend Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Disney's Encanto), and a lot of big stars will be showing up in the film to sing. One such actor is No Country For Old Men and Dune star, Javier Bardem. Recently, Bardem was speaking with ET about his new movie, Being the Ricardos, and was asked about playing King Triton in The Little Mermaid. The actor didn't reveal how much singing he'll be doing in the film, but he did admit singing around Bailey is a difficult task.
"[When you're] close to Halle, it's impossible to sing," Bardem shared with a laugh. "She was warming up her voice near me, and I was like 'What was that?' She goes, 'Oh, I was just warming up,'" he shared. "It would take me five years to do that!"
In addition to Bailey and Bardem, The Little Mermaid is set to star Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay (Disney-Pixar's Luca) as Flounder, Awkwafina (Marvel's Shang-Chi) as the voice of Scuttle, Jonah Hauer-King (TV's Little Women) as Prince Eric, and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) as the villainous sea witch Ursula.
During a recent interview with Collider, Miranda spoke about working with his longtime idol, Menken.
"Yeah, Alan is the reason I'm in this business," Miranda shared. "I'm here because The Little Mermaid blew my mind. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken shaped my childhood. It took us a while to get started because I think we were both nervous to go first, to present lyrics or to present music ... I learned is that Alan is maybe our greatest melodist since Richard Rogers. His doodles are better than any melody I will write in my life. But what he loves is to bounce off of something. As soon as I started writing lyrics, it wrote really fast because he's so quick, in terms of, once he's got his head around the style a song is, he's got it and he's got 50 melodies to pick and choose from. It's like anything else, you talk until the moment is right and you understand the musical moment you're dramatizing, and then it's a matter of keeping up with Alan Menken because he's fast."
Miranda added, "So much of my work on The Little Mermaid was that wish fulfillment. I actually didn't write any new songs for Sebastian the Crab because I love his songs so much. I was like, 'I can't. Nope, not me. I can't do it.' I did get to write for some of the other characters in that movie. Every song you love in The Little Mermaid is still in The Little Mermaid, we just found some new moments to musicalize. That's really tricky."
The Little Mermaid swims into theaters on May 26, 2023.