The cast of Disney’s live-action take on The Little Mermaid is shaping up. The film, directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), already stars Halle Bailey (Grown-ish) as mermaid princess Ariel under the sea with Melissa McCarthy as evil aunt Ursula. Also among the oceangoing characters are Javier Bardem‘s kindly but powerful King Triton and Daveed Diggs as singing (we hope) crab, Sebastian. But as of today, Disney has started to flesh out the surface cast, starting with Prince Eric.
As Variety reports, relative newcomer Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, World on Fire) will play the male lead of Prince Eric opposite Bailey’s Ariel. The role almost went to Harry Styles, but he turned it down, so it’s Hauer-King’s time to shine. It remains to be seen just how Eric’s role will change for this version of the tale. The last time he took to the big screen in the 1989 Disney animated classic, the prince was rescued at sea by Ariel, which started their whole romantic relationship in a bit of a twist on convention. However, Eric never sang in the film, pretty much the only Disney prince who hasn’t. Will Hauer-King change that?
David Magee (Life of Pi) is writing the latest script that adapts the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, reuniting him with Marshall after their last collaboration on Mary Poppins Returns. (Fans of Tomi Adeyemi‘s story “Children of Blood and Bone” should keep an eye on Magee’s work as well since he’s adapting the novel for an upcoming feature film.) Another reunion is at play behind the scenes as Hamilton creatives Diggs and Lin-Manuel Miranda will also be working together again. Miranda will produce the film alongside Marshall but also provides lyrics for new music from the original animated movie’s composer, Alan Menken.