Live televised musicals have had a unique resurgence over the past decade, bringing iconic family-friendly stories to life with an all-star cast. While the trend has been less prevalent over the past year or so, a beloved Disney classic is set to change that. On Sunday, ABC debuted a new teaser for their upcoming take on The Little Mermaid. (No, not the live-action film starring Halle Bailey, which has not begun production yet.) The brief teaser reveals the first look at the film's cast, including Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric and John Stamos as Chef Louie.
The live televised version was originally announced in August, with Stamos and Phillips' casting announced a month later. ABC had originally planned to air a version of The Little Mermaid Live back in 2017, cutting together live performances of the classic songs with clips from the original movie. It was ultimately scrapped ahead of its October 2017 premiere dates. Glenn Slater, lyricist from The Little Mermaid on Broadway, will contribute in some way to the new special. Richard Craft is also set to executive produce.
The Little Mermaid was first adapted into a Disney film in 1989, and spawned its own Broadway musical in 2007. The forthcoming live-action adaptation will be directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), with a script from David Magee and Jane Goldman. The film is expected to feature original songs from the 1989 animated blockbuster, as well as new tracks composed by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Bailey will be joined by Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Skuttle, with Melissa McCarthy in talks to play the villainous Ursula. If recent comments are any indication, McCarthy is more than on board with Latifah playing the role on television.
"'Ladies First'. That's all I'll say." McCarthy explained in an interview in August. "I love Queen Latifah so much. I still have my cassette tape of 'Ladies First'. Cassette! Does that date me? She can do anything. I'll be [there with] both hands on [my] chin, watching her."
What do you think of the first look at The Little Mermaid Live? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The Little Mermaid Live is set to air on Tuesday, November 5th on ABC, as part of The Wonderful World of Disney.