Disney has once again staked their claim to the Memorial Day weekend, as The Little Mermaid will release on May 26, 2023. The live-action remake, which will star Halle Bailey as the titular mermaid Ariel, completed production back in July. Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) is directing the musical film based on the hit 1989 animated classic.
Cruellawas Disney‘s release of this year’s past Memorial Day, which served them well as the Emma Stone film earned $86.1 million domestically and $223.6 million worldwide in theaters. The Mouse House has seen both successes and struggles with this release date. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Tomorrowland both fell flat, while financial successes such as Aladdin(2019) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End have also landed on this holiday weekend. Bob’s Burgers: The Movie (now under the Disney label through 20th Century Studios) recently secured this holiday weekend release date for 2022.
Aside from Bailey, Marshall and Disney have assembled an impressive cast that represents the studio’s ability to nab top talent for these live action remakes. Jonah Hauer-King will play Prince Eric, Javier Bardem will portray King Triton, and Melissa McCarthy will take on the evil sea witch Ursula. As for the voice roles, Flounder will be voiced by Jacob Tremblay, Sebastian will be voiced by Daveed Diggs, and Awkwafina will lend her voice to Scuttle. Some new roles have been developed for this film, with Jude Akuwudike and Noma Dumezweni playing aides to Hauer-King‘s Prince Eric.
After several COVID-19 production delays, filming finally commenced back in January in England. Additional photography was shot in Sardinia, Italy throughout the summer. Bailey posted a picture in costume on her Instagram, giving viewers a taste of the film’s visual style. The Little Mermaid tells the story of Ariel, a mermaid who longs to live out of the sea on human land. She wishes for this so deeply that she sacrifices her voice to Ursula, which throws the whole underwater kingdom into chaos.
Disney has numerous projects lined up for 2023, with four other live-action films set for release that same year. As for animation, both Disney and Pixar have their own projects lined up. Marvel will be releasing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 that year as well, with three other untitled films also on the schedule for 2023. In other words, the Disney content train is showing no signs of slowing.
The Little Mermaid will land in theaters on May 26, 2023.