Now that Disney has cast the title role in the upcoming remake of “The Little Mermaid,” the supporting cast will likely be announced soon — and there’s some competition.
Disney announced last week that 19-year-old singer Halle Bailey, of the group Chloe x Halle, will be playing Ariel. This caused confusion among some people who thought 52-year-old similarly named Halle Berry would be playing a teenage mermaid, and anger in some people who feel the need, in the year of our lord 2019, to argue that a fictional (!) mermaid (!!) should be white.
Now, on to the supporting cast. Several actors are rumoured to be attached or want to be attached to the film, but most aren’t yet officially cast — and these are definitely some coveted roles.
Terry Crews, known for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “White Chicks,” and being absurdly buff, is campaigning hard to play Ariel’s trident-wielding dad. Nothing says enthusiasm like posting fan art on Twitter.
Other people have suggested that 2018′s Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba get the part.
The Rock is also in the running, at least according to Twitter.
The Rock, of course, is Disney-tested, having sung in his role in “Moana.” And Idris Elba sang a Google-translated version of the Boyz II Men classic “I’ll Make Love To You” on Jimmy Fallon. Both solid bets!
Daughter of Triton
King Triton has seven daughters, who have an ensemble song at the beginning but aren’t around much afterwards. (You can tell Ariel is special because she’s the only one whose shell bra is a different colour than her tail.)
Canadian-born model Winnie Harlow has been campaigning to get one of these parts. We can see it!
Melissa McCarthy has been widely reported to be in talks to play the evil sea witch, but it’s not yet official.
If you’re wondering: she does actually have singing chops!
If for whatever reason that doesn’t work out, Lizzo would be more than happy to fill her shoes — and lots of fans have her back. Last fall, the singer posted a video of her singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” in full Ursula makeup, purple skin included. She has the enthusiasm, she has the swag, and she definitely has the voice.
Another option: Tituss Burgess, best known for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” He sings a mean “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” for one thing. And casting a man wouldn’t actually be as off-script as you might think: the character in the animated version was modelled after John Waters muse and legendary drag queen Divine.
As far as Disney princes go, Eric is not a particularly fascinating one — he’s kind of passive, and he doesn’t even get a song. Maybe that’s why there hasn’t been a rush of interest in his role in the way there have been for some of the others.
A few years ago, Chris Evans expressed mild interest in the role — but it was very mild. Some of the names thrown around by fans on Twitter include Noah Centineo, Harry Styles, Charles Melton of “Riverdale,” and “Rent Live” star Jordan Fisher.
The crab who King Triton tasks with keeping Ariel safe has a Caribbean accent, and his song “Under the Sea” — arguably the movie’s best — is a calypso song. Tell me again why this mermaid was ever white in the first place?!
One of the internet frontrunners for the role is about Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan.
Another suggestion — although clearly a joke one — is Jesy Nelson from the British girl group Little Mix. A few years ago, during the heyday of accent challenges, she tried to do a Jamaican accent and instead made a fully incomprehensible sound, which naturally went viral.
And Tituss Burgess has also played Sebastian, both at a live show in L.A. and on Broadway. Hey, if he can’t make Ursula, at least he should get some good songs.
Even if Winnie Harlow doesn’t make the cut, at least one Canadian will officially be in the movie! B.C.-raised child actor Jacob Tremblay will voice Ariel’s scaredy-cat fish friend, according to iMDB.
Awkwafina, of “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Ocean’s 8″ and the upcoming drama “The Farewell,” will play the well-intentioned but ill-informed seagull who tells Ariel that a fork is called a “dinglehopper.” Along with Bailey and Tremblay, she’s the only person who has officially been cast.
There’s no way you can forget the mean French chef, who terrorizes Sebastian while singing the most iconic song about fish heads that has ever existed. Naturally, the internet has only one suggestion for him.
The movie will be directed by Rob Marshall, who has a track record for working on musicals like “Chicago” and “Into the Woods” as well as kids’ movies like “Mary Poppins Returns.” It’s expected to hit theatres in 2020.
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