Lin-Manuel Miranda: ‘Halle Bailey is going to be such an incredible Ariel’

Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t wait for audiences to see Halle Bailey play Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.It was announced last year that the Hamilton creator would be working with composer and songwriter Alan Menken – who wrote…

Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t wait for audiences to see Halle Bailey play Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

It was announced last year that the Hamilton creator would be working with composer and songwriter Alan Menken – who wrote the music for the 1989 animated classic – on four new songs for the highly-anticipated reboot.

And Miranda revealed that the Chloe x Halle singer will stun fans with her performance as the love-struck mermaid.

“Halle Bailey is going to be such an incredible Ariel,” the 40-year-old told Entertainment Tonight.

The Mary Poppins Returns star said that getting the opportunity to work on the live-action remake, and writing songs for such iconic characters such as Ariel, singing crustacean Sebastian, and villainous sea witch Ursula, was a dream come true.

“Getting to write music for these characters that are probably the reason I started writing musicals in the first place, it was actually easier than I thought,” Miranda, who also serves as producer on the project, shared.

“But the hardest part was my own intimidation working with Alan Menken and that was entirely self-imposed,” he added. “But when it came to how these characters speak and what they say, I’ve known that all my life. So that was a joy.”

He also sweetly added that he named his eldest son, five-year-old Sebastian, after the crooning crab.

The Little Mermaid is scheduled for release in November next year.

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Alan Menken working on new music for Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted

Alan Menken is working on the scores for The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.Despite Disney bosses temporarily halting production on Rob Marshall’s upcoming live-action adaption of the 19…

Alan Menken is working on the scores for The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

Despite Disney bosses temporarily halting production on Rob Marshall’s upcoming live-action adaption of the 1989 animated classic due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Oscar-winning composer and songwriter is putting his time spent indoors to good use.

“This has been a great time for writing. Production stopped on The Little Mermaid movie,” he shared during a special live stream of The Rosie O’Donnell Show. “We recorded all the songs, and I wrote four new songs with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the lyricist for Mermaid.”

The new Little Mermaid stars Halle Bailey as the mermaid princess, with Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, and Jonah Hauer-King taking on supporting roles.

In addition, Menken revealed that he is making progress on another big Disney feature.

“And I’m working on Disenchanted, the sequel to Enchanted,” the 70-year-old divulged.

Though there is yet to be an official announcement about Disenchanted, Disney producers have been teasing an update regarding the follow-up to the 2007 hit featuring Amy Adams and James Marsden in recent months.

Elsewhere in the chat, Menken admitted he has “a whole bushel of new projects” on the go, including a new stage adaptation of 1997 hit movie Hercules.

“And I have another Broadway show. Oh, and Hercules is coming to the stage, of course. We did that in Central Park last summer,” he added.

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Betsey Johnson unveils The Little Mermaid-inspired jewellery collection

Betsey Johnson has partnered with the team at Disney on a jewellery collection inspired by The Little Mermaid.The fashion designer, known for her whimsical garments, has created a line of accessories influenced by the characters in the 1989 animated mo…

Betsey Johnson has partnered with the team at Disney on a jewellery collection inspired by The Little Mermaid.

The fashion designer, known for her whimsical garments, has created a line of accessories influenced by the characters in the 1989 animated movie.

Items include a chain necklace with seashell and starfish motifs, a nautical-themed charm bracelet with beaded elements, earrings shaped like forks with purple flower details, and a pair of drop earrings with representations of beloved characters.

“Want to be the girl who has everything? Then check out the matching jewellery collection featuring bedazzled characters including Flounder and Sebastian along with thingamabobs aplenty!” a Disney representative commented of the line.

The pieces are priced from $65 to $175 (£50 – £135) and will be available to purchase from Disney’s website and select theme park boutiques from 21 February.

In addition, Johnson has also unveiled a new sequin-covered Minnie Mouse ear headband for the Disney Parks Designer Collection. She will be celebrating the launch with fans on Friday afternoon at The Disney Dress Shop at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in California.

Accordingly, the news excited many fans of The Little Mermaid, with model Tess Holliday simply writing “omg omg” on Johnson’s Instagram post, while another follower commented: “I need to go to Disney again. Betsey Johnson designed Little Mermaid ears!”

In the coming months, the likes of Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, and Vera Wang are also set to release their own ear headbands for the Disney Parks Designer Collection.

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Christian Navarro slams Disney for casting Jonah Hauer-King in The Little Mermaid

Christian Navarro has slammed Disney producers for casting “the white guy” in The Little Mermaid remake.The 13 Reasons Why star submitted an audition tape in a bid to land the role of Prince Eric, but it was revealed earlier this week that Disney bosse…

Christian Navarro has slammed Disney producers for casting “the white guy” in The Little Mermaid remake.

The 13 Reasons Why star submitted an audition tape in a bid to land the role of Prince Eric, but it was revealed earlier this week that Disney bosses and director Rob Marshall had settled on A Dog’s Way Home actor Jonah Hauer-King for the role, and Christian didn’t hold back as he responded to the news on his Instagram page.

“Literally @disney saw a who’s who list of actors of colour and STILL went with the white guy,” he wrote alongside a picture of Jonah.

Referring to Halle Bailey being cast as Ariel, Christian continued: “So much for diversity. I guess two brown leads would have tanked the movie right? Boring.”

The 28-year-old quickly deleted his Instagram post. However, he then turned his attention to Twitter, reactivating his account to post a tweet about the casting.

“Just came back to say; after months of seeing every person of colour they could think of for the role of Prince Eric, @DisneyStudios somehow still cast a white guy. I guess diversity is just a word. And THATS Hollywood (sic). One brown person is enough, two brown leads is unthinkable,” Christian fired.

He then deleted the tweet and once again deactivated his account.

One Direction star Harry Styles was another big name to be up for the role of Prince Eric, but his representative later issued a statement saying he had “declined the offer.”

In an interview with The Face magazine, the singer revealed the role “was discussed” but never confirmed, and so he decided to focus on his music instead.

“I want to put music out and focus on that for a while,” Harry explained. “But everyone involved in it was amazing, so I think it’s going to be great. I’ll enjoy watching it, I’m sure.”

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Jonah Hauer-King to play Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid revamp

Jonah Hauer-King has landed the coveted role of Prince Eric in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.The British-American actor has reportedly been in the running for the part in director Rob Marshall’s movie ever since front-runner Harry Styles…

Jonah Hauer-King has landed the coveted role of Prince Eric in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

The British-American actor has reportedly been in the running for the part in director Rob Marshall’s movie ever since front-runner Harry Styles declined, according to reporters at Deadline.

And on Tuesday, it was confirmed Hauer-King beat competition from Florence Foster Jenkins star Cameron Cuffe, after having two screen tests, with the most recent one taking place in London on 9 November with Marshall.

The 24-year-old will play the love interest of mermaid princess Ariel, to be portrayed by Halle Bailey, with Melissa McCarthy attached to take on the part of villain Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian.

Meanwhile, Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem is reportedly still mulling over the role of Ariel’s father, King Triton.

Marshall will direct and produce alongside Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is also creating new music for the film with Alan Menken, who composed the music for the original 1989 Disney animated movie.

Hauer-King is a relative newcomer to Hollywood as he started out in theatre and was named as a rising star by editors at British newspaper the London Evening Standard in 2016.

He’s since gone on to appear in the BBC adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in 2017 and starred as Harry Chase in the British wartime drama series World on Fire.

He also had a role in A Dog’s Way Home, which featured Bryce Dallas Howard and Ashley Judd.

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Harry Styles addresses decision to pass on role in The Little Mermaid remake

Harry Styles has admitting to turning down the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid because of “a few things”.Earlier this year, rumours swirled that the former One Direction singer had been tapped to appear…

Harry Styles has admitting to turning down the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid because of “a few things”.

Earlier this year, rumours swirled that the former One Direction singer had been tapped to appear in the reboot of the 1989 animated classic, although it was later reported the star had opted out of the role.

Speaking with presenters Roman Kemp and Sonny Jay for Britain’s Capital Breakfast radio show on Tuesday, Harry opened up about why he walked away from the project.

Explaining he had been approached by the team behind the flick, the Sign of the Times hitmaker said: “I had, you know, a meeting with Rob Marshall the director, who is the most wonderful man, he’s great.”

However, Harry became uncomfortable as he tried to avoid giving the reason for why he pulled out of the high-profile role.

“And it was just, honestly, it was just a few things. It just, it wasn’t…erm… I think it’s gonna be amazing, obviously it’s an amazing film, and I can tell Roman’s watching how I’m kind of worming,” the 25-year-old joked, acknowledging that he didn’t want to answer the question.

Harry made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning war film Dunkirk in 2017 but has yet to build on his screen career. In addition to the Disney project, he auditioned for the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of the iconic singer but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor Austin Butler got the part instead.

Singer/actress Halle Bailey is the only star confirmed for The Little Mermaid so far, which begins production next year, with Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, and Awkwafina all believed to be in negotiations for other key characters.

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Daveed Diggs in final talks for The Little Mermaid role – report

Daveed Diggs is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to join the line-up of Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.According to editors at Variety, the Hamilton actor is the studio’s top choice for the role of Sebastian – the crab …

Daveed Diggs is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to join the line-up of Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

According to editors at Variety, the Hamilton actor is the studio’s top choice for the role of Sebastian – the crab who is King Triton’s advisor – and will perform the iconic song Under the Sea, which appeared in the 1989 animated original.

The role was previously voiced by Samuel E. Wright.

Producers are currently casting for the flick, which begins production next year, with singer/actress Halle Bailey confirmed to play mermaid princess Ariel in the film.

Elsewhere, Javier Bardem is rumoured to be in talks to portray Triton, and Melissa McCarthy has long been linked to the part of sea witch Ursula.

Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay are also attached to play Scuttle and Flounder, respectively, but director Rob Marshall is yet to settle on an actor to play Prince Eric.

Singer Harry Styles was previously in the running for the lead role, but ultimately decided to pass on the opportunity, with other young actors including Cameron Cuffe, Jonah Hauer-King, Christian Navarro, and Asher Angel among those to audition.

Diggs originated the parts of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the original production of Hamilton, winning both a Grammy Award and a Tony Award for his performance.

He has also appeared in films such as Wonder and Blindspotting, and will next be seen onscreen as Andre Layton in TV series Snowpiercer.

A release date for Marshall’s The Little Mermaid has not yet been announced.

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Harry Styles turned down Prince Eric role to focus on new music

Harry Styles turned down the role of Prince Eric in the live-action The Little Mermaid so he could focus on making new music.It was announced earlier this month that the singer, 25, had turn down the opportunity to star opposite Halle Bailey as mermaid…

Harry Styles turned down the role of Prince Eric in the live-action The Little Mermaid so he could focus on making new music.

It was announced earlier this month that the singer, 25, had turn down the opportunity to star opposite Halle Bailey as mermaid Ariel’s human love interest Eric in Rob Marshall’s remake of the 1989 animated classic.

And in a new interview with The Face magazine, he revealed that a possible role for him “was discussed” but never confirmed, leaving him free to pursue his solo music career instead.

“I want to put music out and focus on that for a while,” Harry explained. “But everyone involved in it was amazing, so I think it’s going to be great. I’ll enjoy watching it, I’m sure.”

Confirming that he had declined to star as Prince Eric, his representative recently released a statement which read: “While he was a fan of the project, he has respectfully declined the offer.”

At the time, fans of the former One Direction singer had speculated he had turned down the role to concentrate on making his second album, or to even reunite with his bandmates Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Dunkirk star also opened up about losing out to Austin Butler for the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming movie, and insisted he wasn’t bitter about not getting the part.

“I feel like if I’m not the right person for the thing, then it’s best for both of us that I don’t do it, you know?” he shared. “(Elvis) was such an icon for me growing up. There was something almost sacred about him, almost like I didn’t want to touch him.”

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Christian Navarro auditioning for Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid remake

Actor Christian Navarro has added his name to the list of hopefuls dreaming of landing the role of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.Previously, Harry Styles was in talks to play human prince Eric opposite Halle Bailey as mermaid Ariel in Rob Marshall’…

Actor Christian Navarro has added his name to the list of hopefuls dreaming of landing the role of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.

Previously, Harry Styles was in talks to play human prince Eric opposite Halle Bailey as mermaid Ariel in Rob Marshall’s upcoming live-action reboot of the 1989 animated Disney classic, however, a representative for the One Direction singer later confirmed he had passed on the role.

But now it appears 13 Reasons Why star Navarro is keen for the opportunity to dive into the project and has made a direct appeal to star in the movie.

The 28-year-old recently retweeted a post about Styles’s exit, adding: “Well… I can sing. Black Ariel/Latino Prince… no ones called but Season 3 (of 13 Reasons Why) drops next week and (I) think it’s one hell of an audition (sic).”

And it seems Disney bosses were impressed with Navarro’s direct approach to land an audition and got the ball rolling.

“@disney saw this, saw your support, and gave my team a call,” he tweeted. “They wanted to see what I could do. Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history… Let me know! @DisneyStudios.”

Melissa McCarthy is reportedly in talks to play the villainous Ursula, with Javier Bardem in the running for King Triton. Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay have been attached to play Scuttle and Flounder, respectively.

Meanwhile, Shazam! star Asher Angel has also revealed he is auditioning for the role of Prince Eric, telling reporters at Entertainment Tonight, “I went in for it. It means so much to me. I started off doing musical theatre.”

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Awkwafina to star as heroine Constance Verity in new movie

Awkwafina has signed on to star in the film adaptation of A. Lee Martinez’s Constance Verity fantasy adventure books. The Ocean’s 8 star will play the title character in the adaptation of Martinez’s 2016 novel, The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, …

Awkwafina has signed on to star in the film adaptation of A. Lee Martinez’s Constance Verity fantasy adventure books.

The Ocean’s 8 star will play the title character in the adaptation of Martinez’s 2016 novel, The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, which could form the basis of a potential film franchise.

Martinez’s follow-up novel, Constance Verity Saves the World, was released last summer, and the fantasy/science-fiction writer is currently working on a third book in the series.

The story follows Constance, who has been saving the world from supernatural forces since she was seven, after she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother. Now in her 20s, she desperately seeks normality, and despite being a master of martial arts and an excellent detective, she’s craving an office job and a steady boyfriend. However, there are forces at work to make sure she stays in her role as protector of the world.

According to editors at Variety, John Raffo is penning the script, while Jon Shestack, Jon Silk and Jay Ashenfelter are producing.

A director for the project has not yet been announced.

Awkwafina has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand names following the success of last year’s Ocean’s 8, alongside Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock, and the worldwide smash hit Crazy Rich Asians.

The 30-year-old, real name Nora Lum, is next set to appear in upcoming Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Jumanji: The Next Level, and The Prom, opposite Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

She’s also reportedly part of the cast for director Rob Marshall’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, in which she’ll voice the character of seagull Scuttle.

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