Over the last several years Disney has mined their vast catalog of animated hits in order to give them the live action treatment. The result has been tremendous success with films like THE JUNGLE BOOK, ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and THE LION KING absolutely cleaning up at the box office. The live action adaptation of THE LITTLE MERMAID is one of Disney’s more anticipated upcoming films and while most of the major parts had already been cast, the film was still missing its Prince Eric. Well fear not fans of Ariel and company as the Rob Marshall directed project has finally landed its male lead.
Fresh face Jonah Hauer-King (WORLD ON FIRE) will take on the role of the handsome, waterlogged prince who was rescued by Ariel. The actor, who has a role in the upcoming LITTLE WOMEN, landed the part after Harry Styles turned the part down. Hauer-King joins an already talented cast which includes Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Halle Bailey as the titular mermaid Ariel.
Like its animated predecessor, THE LITTLE MERMAID will also be a musical. Composer Alan Menken and Howard Ashman collaborated on the songs from the 1989 film, several of which will also pop up in the new version. In addition actor and Hamilton vet Lin-Manuel Miranda will provide lyrics for new music in addition to co-producing the film with Rob Marshall. It will be interesting to see if Hauer-King gets any songs in the film, as the Prince Eric from the animated classic never actually got to sing on screen.
Production on THE LITTLE MERMAID is set to kick off sometime next year with a targeted 2021 release date.