The Little Mermaid will have its own live-action movie and it could be coming sooner than expected. Yesterday, during Disney's D23 Expo, the production company released the first trailer of the upcoming movie. Halle Bailey will star alongside Jonah Hauer-King and as we saw in the teaser, we already heard her singing a few verses of Part of Your World.

The production will be directed by Rob Marshall (responsible for Chicago and Mary Poppins Returns) and is billed as a reinvention of the classic animated musical, which won the 1989 Academy Award for Best Original Score. It also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a Satellite Award for Outstanding Youth DVD.

The story of Ariel and Eric will be produced by Marc Platt and fan of the original film Lin-Manuel Miranda. Deadline Hollywood reported on May 25, 2016 that Disney was planning to make a remake and soon after the development of the remake began. The news generated quite a stir because fans did not see the need for a new adaptation.

'The Little Mermaid' Cast

Halle Bailey will play the title character, the little mermaid Ariel. Jonah Hauer-King will play the male lead, Prince Eric. Melissa McCarthy will play the villain, Ursula. On the other hand, Javier Bardem and Noma Dumezweni will be Ariel's parents, King Triton and Queen Selina. 

Art Malik will be Grimsby, Prince Eric's loyal confidant, who makes sure he finds the right girl to marry. Lorena Andrea and Kajsa Mohammar will play Perla and Karina, two new characters that will be introduced during the course of the story.

Then there are the voice actors, who will bring to life iconic characters from the original film. Daveed Diggs will be Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay will be Flounder and Awkwafina will be Scuttle. Although their respective roles are not yet known, Jessica Alexander, Russell Balogh, Adrian Christopher, Emily Coates and Simone Ashley are also part of the cast.

"After an extensive search, it became very clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence and substance, as well as a glorious singing voice, all intrinsic qualities needed to play this iconic role", announced Rob Marshall. 

'The Little Mermaid' Plot

"In Disney's beguiling animated romp, rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days.

But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter", says the official synopsis of the classic. Being a remake of the original film, the plot is expected to respect the 1989 story.

'The Little Mermaid' Release date

The film is scheduled for release on May 26, 2023. It has already been announced that more material related to the new adaptation will be released, such as a series of novels that are based on the live-action film. Of course it will be released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

"It was really surreal to film. It was very emotional for me. It was three days of intense being all over the place. I was crying the whole time because I was like, 'What the hell?' We're all connected to that song and it means so much to each of us", said leading lady Halle Bailey regarding the production and her time on set.

Critics seem to approve of the film at test screenings

As is often the case with anticipated projects, the new live action film underwent several test screenings with a limited and selected audience. Some of the critics and figures who attended have already given their verdict and it seems that everything is going according to plan. The movie is being really loved by the audience.

The Direct revealed that several insiders are talking about The Little Mermaid and the great job its cast has done so far, even though it has not yet been finished editing. Skyler Shuler of The DisInsider said, "Here's what I heard from a couple of people I talked to after seeing 'The Little Mermaid'. The movie is still far from finished, Halle was wonderful. Melissa McCarthy wowed the audience as Ursula and seemed to stand out".

While ViewerAnon insider claimed that several viewers have deemed it Disney's best remake so far. "The reaction to 'The Little Mermaid' last night was very good. People are split on the new songs, but audiences went crazy for Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy was surprisingly good as Ursula. I heard it's the 'best Disney remake' from more than one person", he confirmed.