The classic Disney tale The Little Mermaid is getting its own live action remake next year, and the first trailer dropped recently, racking up millions of views online. Singer and actress Halle Bailey has been cast in the lead role of Ariel, making her the first Black actress to play the part.

The new version is set to release in May next year, almost 35 years after the original in 1989, which kicked off the Disney Renaissance era.

The Little Mermaid remake

The Little Mermaid will retell the story of Ariel, a mermaid and the youngest daughter of King Triton, and ends up falling for the dashing Prince Eric, a human, after saving him from drowning, and wants to find and meet him again on land. However, this creates tension between Ariel and her father, as well as drawing the wrath of the sea witch Ursula- who offers her a treacherous deal to become human.

Like Disney’s other remakes, including The Lion King and Aladdin, the new version of Little Mermaid will feature a star studded cast, with Javier Bardem as King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, as well as David Diggs as the composing crab Sebastian, Awkwafina as dimwitted diving bird Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s best friend Flounder. Also featuring are Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina, a new character for the film, and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric.

The first glimpse of the film quickly became one of the most talked about trailers of the year, and inspired mums around the world to post videos of their child reacting to the film and the casting, and what it means to them.

While the casting of Bailey prompted some backlash on the internet for the colour of her skin, the actress took to her YouTube channel to show that she remained undaunted: “Even still today with all of the commentary and people’s opinions going on, it just reminds me to be number one: grounded, and grateful that I have this opportunity.”

The Little Mermaid will release in cinemas next year on 26th May, with a release on streaming to follow. In the meantime, you can watch the 1989 original over on Disney+.

The Little Mermaid is out in cinemas from 26th May 2023

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