The Little Mermaid Live-Action Director Explains Why Prince Eric and Ariel Are More Alike Than You Think

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Disney is known for their live-action remakes of the Disney princesses and one of the upcoming ones is Halle Bailey as the live-action Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Although the castings received mixed reactions from fans, regarding racist backlash, the film is still undergoing production. In fact, the film already had a test audience reassuring fans that the film is going to be “as solid as 2019’s Aladdin.”

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Halle Bailey as The Little Mermaid, Ariel, in live-action
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Halle Bailey as The Little Mermaid, Ariel, in live-action

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Recently speaking to Entertainment Weekly, The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall explains how they plan to characterize Prince Eric (to be played by Jonah Hauer-King) in the live-action. In an attempt to make comparisons between the original animated film’s storyline on Eric vs. the live-action, Marshall describes the original Eric as:

“The role of Eric in the animated film — I’m sure the original creators would agree with this — it’s a wooden, classic prince character with not a lot going on.”

The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric
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Credit: Disney
The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric
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The director continues on to say how live-action Prince Eric will be different, with more character and more depth, definitely, as they have added Eric’s mother, and the film is also set to depict how closely similar and fated lovers Eric and Ariel are.

“There’s a whole story that’s developed in our film. He [Eric] has a mother, a queen, that’s new to the film. He has a very similar trajectory in a way to Ariel. He doesn’t feel like it’s where he fits in, his world.”

If you think about it, Prince Eric really had the same dream as Ariel in the original film. While we first see Eric on a ship, where Ariel first met him, clearly on a voyage for some soul searching, Ariel was on a mission to see what thingamabobs she could take as a souvenir back to her place. Seeing it all come to place now sheds light on a subtle hint just how much these two have in common.

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Meanwhile, The Little Mermaid live-action will hit theaters on May 26, 2023.

ALSO READ: Little Mermaid Live Action’s Test Audience Promises Favorable Production Following Online Backlash