Zendaya Addresses ‘The Little Mermaid’ Rumors

Spider-Man: Homecoming star Zendaya says her rumored involvement with Disney's in-the-works live-action re-imagining of The Little Mermaid is just that: rumors.

"Rumor. Just rumors, for now," she told MTV when promoting new animated movie Smallfoot, where she voices Meechee the Yeti. When asked if she would dye her hair red to match that of iconic Disney princess Ariel, Zendaya said, "We'll see."

An August report claimed Disney was eyeing Zendaya for the role and may have already approached the actress-slash-singer with an offer. She has since expressed interest in playing the famed mermaid who longs to join the surface world, telling Variety, "Yeah, why wouldn't I?"

If she signs on, Zendaya could star opposite A Star Is Born breakout Lady Gaga, who is rumored to be Disney's first choice for the role of octopus-like sea witch Ursula.

In 2013, the actress and singer released debut album Zendaya under Disney-owned record label Hollywood Records. The star most recently displayed her chops as a performer in hit musical The Greatest Showman, where she featured as a pink-haired trapeze artist alongside Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.

Inspired by the 1989 seminal animated feature, The Little Mermaid will again boast music from original composer Alan Menken, who teams with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway's Hamilton, Disney's Mary Poppins Returns) under attached director Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Mary Poppins Returns).

The Little Mermaid is the latest live-action spin on an animated Disney classic being planned by the studio following Cinderella, The Jungle Book and billion dollar-plus-grosser Beauty and the Beast. Set for release in 2019 are upcoming re-imaginings Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King, followed by Mulan in 2020.


Kick-Ass and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising star Chloe Grace Moretz was once attached to headline a live-action Little Mermaid at Universal Pictures, but that project fell apart after original director Sofia Coppola exited following creative differences. A new spin on the classic story, but only loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale, reached AMC theaters in a limited-run engagement over the summer before its streaming rights were purchased by Netflix.

Zendaya next reprises her role of the sardonic and bright Michelle "MJ" Jones in Spider-Man: Far From Home, out July 5, 2019.