There are a variety of opinions regarding Disney's onslaught of live-action remakes that have been released over the last several years. Not everybody involved in the original animated classics is in love with the concept, but Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, says she's all in favor of the reported plan to remake The Little Mermaid, because she trusts the people involved in the project to do it justice. According to Benson...
Yeah. I think it's going to be incredible. They are talking about this concept, and the team of people that I've heard mentioned for this particular live-action film sounds quite magical. And I think for Alan [Menken] to be teaming up with Lin-Manuel is going to be phenomenal, and if in fact we have Robbie Marshall, if that is the case, as director and John DeLuca as executive producer. Mary Poppins Returns, I think, was just a fantastic film, so I know that Robbie is an incredible director with a great eye. I think he can handle it. I think it can be delivered in a way that's going to be quite special. I don't know exactly how they'll pull it all off, but I'm sure it'll be amazing.
It's easy to be excited about the live action Little Mermaid when you look at the people who are reported to be involved in it. Rob Marshall, who just came off the success of Mary Poppins Returns has reportedly been offered the director's chair. He was supposed to be making a decision on the job after the holidays, though we've heard nothing about whether he's taken the job or not. In this case, no report that he's turned the job down is likely an indication that he's at least still considering. Marshall's frequent collaborator, producer John DeLuca, is also coming along for the ride assuming Marshall says yes.
Musically, the movie is also in good hands as well as Alan Menken, who wrote the music for the original animated Little Mermaid, will be back for the live-action version. Lin-Manuel Miranda is also involved to work with Menken on brand new music for the new version of the film. Miranda showed just what he could accomplish with Disney music with the remarkably impressive music in Moana. Miranda has a particular love for The Little Mermaid. He has a son named Sebastian who was named after the film's famous crab.
The current status of the new Little Mermaid is unknown. Nothing has been officially set in stone regarding the project. No lead has been signed. There were rumors that Disney was looking at Zendaya to play the role, and while she may be a short list at the studio, the last time anybody had asked, the Spider-Man: Homecoming actress had not been approached about the role.
Jodi Benson's words to ComicBook.com will certainly be a nice boost for the project, though we'll all still have to wait and see when and if this project goes anywhere.