Following a halt in production, the Disney live-action remakes are now pressing ahead, with the studio gearing up to return to one of their major projects, The Little Mermaid, with a big casting addition. Disney have reportedly had several virtual chats with Grammy Award winner Kacey Musgraves, with the studio wanting her for a part in the upcoming remake. The role they have in mind for Musgraves is that of Vanessa, the human form taken by the sea witch Ursula when she makes her way onto dry land to continue her devious plan.
Whilst there has been no confirmation that she has signed on to the role, visually Kacey Musgraves looks almost exactly like the character in the beloved 1989 animated version, with fans on social media having suggested this casting idea for some time.
Much like the rest of the Disney live-action remakes, The Little Mermaid will likely follow the original movie closely, and follow a mermaid named Ariel who makes a deal with Ursula, a sea witch, to meet Eric, a human prince she falls in love with. However, unaware of Ursula's evil plans, Ariel ends up in trouble when her voice is taken away in exchange for a pair of human legs in place of her mermaid tale. Production on the remake was halted amid the ongoing global situation but will reportedly start up again this summer at Pinewood Studios in London.
The movie has amassed quite the cast, with Halle Bailey (Last Holiday, Grown-ish) taking on the role of Ariel. Other cast members for the movie include Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Flounder, Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting) as Sebastian, Awkwafina (Ocean's Eight) as the seagull Scuttle, and Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women) as Prince Eric. Bridesmaids and The Heat star Melissa McCarthy will play the underwater version of Ursula, and it has been rumored that Skyfall actor Javier Bardem in in talks to play Ariel's father King Triton.
Rob Marshall, whose previous credits include the likes of [Chicago}, Mary Poppins Returns, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide will be directing The Little Mermaid for Disney.
The movie's Oscar-winning composer, Alan Menken, has already revealed that The Little Mermaid remake will include four new songs that he crafted together with Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda. "This has been a great time for writing. Production stopped on The Little Mermaid movie. We recorded all the songs, and I wrote four new songs with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the lyricist for Mermaid. And I'm working on Disenchanted, the sequel to Lin-Manuel Miranda. And I have another Broadway show. Oh, and Hercules is coming to the stage, of course. We did that in Central Park last summer. Just a whole bushel of new projects."
At present, The Little Mermaid live-action remake is scheduled to be released in theaters next year on November 19, 2021. However, it is unclear whether this release date will end up being delayed due to the halt in production. There are also several other Disney live-action remakes on the horizon, including Robin Hood, Peter Pan, and Hercules. This rumor comes to us courtesy of The DisInsider.