The Disney remake train keeps on chugging, and development has already started for a live-action The Little Mermaid. There was a lot of backlash over the casting of black actress Halle Bailey for the role of Ariel, and Bailey has now opened up about how she feels about her casting.
Talking to Variety, Bailey says:
"I feel like I'm dreaming, and I'm just grateful, and I don't pay attention to the negativity; I just feel like this role is something bigger than me, and greater, and it's gonna be beautiful, I'm just so excited to be a part of it."
Though there was a lot of backlash for Bailey being cast, it seems that Disney is doubling down with their non-white Ariel. ABC is airing a live musical of The Little Mermaid this November, and that production has also cast a non-white girl to play Ariel, Auli'i Cravalho a.k.a. the voice of Moana. The musical has also cast Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian.
So far, Bailey's Ariel is the only main character cast in the film. Jacob Tremblay is attached to voice Flounder and Awkwafina will be Scuttle the Seagull. Rumor has it that Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula, but some are hoping that Disney casts a drag queen in the role—seeing that the character of Ursula herself was based on 70s queen Divine.
No release date has been set for The Little Mermaid movie, but you can catch the live musical version on ABC when it airs on Nov. 5.
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