Starting with 2014's Maleficent, Disney has been hard at work developing its classic animated features into live-action. It's proven a massively successful business method, as both the trend of nostalgia and the House of Mouse's latest technological abilities make each blockbuster a giant release. While the studio is currently hard at work producing its live-action Mulan and Lion King adaptations, there is yet another movie just over the horizon. Disney will dive into the deep end with its still developing Little Mermaid movie, and actress Zendaya has been rumored to be circling the role of Ariel. Unfortunately it seems that was only a rumor-- although Zendaya seems open to the possibility.
Considering her role as MJ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and recent appearance in The Greatest Showman, Zendaya's star power has only continued to grow in the past few years. So she's seems like a perfect choice to possibly play Ariel-- especially considering her past as a child star for Disney. But alas, she denied this report and indicated it was just a rumor. But when asked if she'd be interested in playing the titular Little Mermaid, she said:
Well, that's a relief. Because although Zendaya denied that she's playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid to Variety, that doesn't mean it won't happen sometime in the future. Development for the project appears to be in its earliest stages, so perhaps the House of Mouse simply hasn't approached her in hopes of going under the sea... yet.
Although Zendaya hasn't officially been cast as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, she does seem like a great choice to play the underwater princess. Zendaya is young enough to play Ariel, who is supposed to be a teenager in the movie. The actress has also showcased her singing abilities many times throughout her career, so she's clearly got the pipes to play King Triton's favorite daughter. But Ariel is a coveted and iconic role, so it wouldn't be surprising if Zendaya had some serious competition for the part.
It should be interesting to see how The Little Mermaid continues to develop, and what talent ultimately gets attached to upcoming live-action adaptation. Plus, the blockbuster will no doubt be compared to James Wan's Aquaman. Moviegoers will have a recent underwater movie to reference, which may help The Little Mermaid score a new type of audience.
CinemaBlend will keep you updated on all things The Little Mermaid. You can hear Zendaya's voice in Smallfoot, premiering on September 28, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.