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Considering it was the movie to launch the Disney Renaissance era, it was only a matter of time that The Little Mermaid would get the live action treatment under the current Mouse House regime. Over the last five months or so, the Little Mermaid remake has slowly been assembling its cast, and the latest word is that Hamilton star Daveed Diggs being looked at to bring Sebastian the Crab to life.
This update comes from Variety, which reports that Daveed Diggs is in talks to play Sebastian in this new version of The Little Mermaid. This is the first piece of casting news to come out concerning Sebastian in this remake, and while it remains to be seen if Diggs will take the role, it was to be expected the crab would be included in the story.
Daveed Diggs rose to stardom for his dual turn as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in the hit musical Hamilton, and you can be sure that his extensive musical background will come in handy when belting out Sebastian’s tunes in The Little Mermaid. Diggs’ movie and TV appearances include Zootpoia, Wonder, Blindspotting, Velvet Buzzsaw, Black-ish and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He’s also set to star as Layton Well in TNT’s upcoming Snowpiercer series.
Since all signs so far point to The Little Mermaid being a straightforward remake of the original rather than take major creative liberties akin to something like Maleficent or Mulan, we can presumably count on this new Sebastian, whether he’s played by Daveed Diggs or someone else, serving as King Triton’s adviser and court composer like his animated predecessor. Whether he’ll be Jamaican is another matter.
Thus far, the only actor Disney has officially announced for The Little Mermaid is Grown-ish’s Halle Bailey, who will play Ariel. However, per the various reports that have come out, we’ve learned that Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina have been cast to play Flounder and Scuttle, respectively. Variety’s report also stated that Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem are definitely on board to play Ursula and King Triton, respectively.
And then there’s Prince Eric, Ariel’s love interest. Originally Harry Styles was being lined up for that role, but he bowed out to focus on his music career. It was reported late last month that Cameron Cuffe and Jonah Huaer-King are among the new finalists to play the character.
Behind the camera, Mary Poppins Returns’ Rob Marshall is directing based off a script written by David Magee, who also penned the Mary Poppins sequel. The Little Mermaid doesn’t have an assigned release date yet, but production is scheduled to begin early next year.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news on how The Little Mermaid is coming along, but now, you can keep track of what’s heading to movie theaters for the rest of the year with our 2019 release schedule.