The Little Mermaid, Disney’s Oscar-nominated 1989 classic, is getting the live-action treatment, with a new spin slated to hit theaters next spring.
After the success of adaptations like Cinderella, starring Lily James, and the Angelina Jolie-led Maleficent, it looks like Disney is stepping up to give the next generation of princess lovers a fresher take on the animated franchise. If you’re wondering what to expect from the remake, here’s everything we know so far.
When will The Little Mermaid be released?
Although the movie was originally slated for release in November of 2019, production was pushed back, and then delayed further by the pandemic. It’s now set to be released in May of 2023.
Who is the star of The Little Mermaid?
Halle Bailey, who is widely known as half of the Grammy-nominated sibling duo Chloe x Halle, is set to play Ariel in the new adaptation. Although Bailey has appeared on screen before, appearing as Sky in the television series Grown-ish, The Little Mermaid will mark her first starring role in a feature film.
“After auditioning for this film when I was 18, just about to turn 19, to now finishing filming through a pandemic [after] I turned 21 ..we have finally made it,” Bailey wrote on Instagram after the movie wrapped last summer. “I feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory..it has been the toughest experience being away from everything and everyone I’ve ever known, to feeling self doubt/ loneliness, but also feeling such freedom and perseverance as I’ve reached the end.”
While many celebrated Bailey’s casting after it was announced back in 2019, the multi-hyphenate also experienced some racist backlash. In a recent interview with Variety, Bailey said that her family and particularly her grandparents rallied around her during that time. “It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’” Bailey said.
Who else will be in The Little Mermaid?
The cast of the upcoming film, directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mary Poppins Returns), is stacked both with fan favorites and a few rising talents. Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs will voice the crustacean Sebastian, alongside Awkwafina as Scuttle the seagull and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.
Other cast members include Melissa McCarthy as the villainous sorcerer Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, and Javier Bardem as King Triton. Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley also revealed she would be playing a small role in the film.
Will The Little Mermaid follow the plot of the original?
While the live-action Little Mermaid is expected to follow the general plot of its predecessor, story details have not yet been released. The music—written for the 1989 version by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken**—**will likely be a bit different, however: Lin-Manuel Miranda joined the new film as a producer and will contribute some original songs.
This post was originally published on Vogue.com