The Little Mermaid Live! is a live musical production airing on ABC and Freeform on November 5, 2019, at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT. It is to honor the movie’s 30th anniversary. In turn, scenes from the original movie will be combined with live performances from a star-studded cast. In addition to this live musical event, there is a live-action movie that is slated to come out in 2020. Some may be getting confused about which is which, as there are different actors than the live! ABC event participating in the movie.
When it comes to The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! actors, executive producer Hamish Hamilton told Entertainment Weekly, “The cast are all absolutely perfect. I couldn’t be more thrilled. These were the people we went after. They were all our absolute No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 choices. For them to be so universally acclaimed by fans of the movie and the general public alike, that was great. That gives all the fans out there an illustration of our take on how we’re going to celebrate the feature.”
He continued, saying, “Each one of the artists cast so far have an affinity with the original character. You can imagine each of those people playing the roles and you’re excited by them. We’re not doing any shock-and-awe or radical surprises. Auli’i is just the perfect live Ariel.”
As for the live-action movie, it will be a remake of the original.
Get to know who the cast and characters are in the live musical production, followed by the cast info about the live-action film, below.
“The Little Mermaid Live!” Cast
Auli’i Cravalho leads the cast of the live production event, in the role of Ariel. In an interview with Variety, Cravalho talked about playing the role and said, “I was so happy to play one Disney princess who happened to be associated with the water, but now I get to play another one … it’s truly mind-blowing to me.”
The 18-year-old is known for lending her voice to the movie Moana. Her Prince Eric is Graham Phillips, who some may know from the hit TV show Riverdale. Queen Latifah has come aboard as Ursula the sea witch, Shaggy is Ariel’s friend Sebastian, and John Stamos is the over-the-top character Chef Louis. This isn’t Stamos’ first time playing Chef Louis as he previously performed the chef’s song at the Hollywood Bowl in 2006, according to Newsweek.
When talking about the gig, Stamos told Access Online, “What excites me is that they’re sort of letting me play with the character a little bit. I mean, the essence of him will be what people love, but you know, if you really look at this guy, he’s crazy! So just to be able to let all that out into this character is going to be really fun.”
On an episode of Good Morning America, Queen Latifah talked about the opportunity to play the iconic Ursula. She said, “I had done a photoshoot for Disney a few years back where Annie Leibowitz shot me as Ursula. So when this popped up, it was like, OK, a TV production. Alright … Once they explained to me the way that they wanted to do it, I thought it was interesting.”
“The Little Mermaid” Live-Action Cast
Halle Bailey, from the singing duo Chloe x Halle and from the show Grown-ish, has been cast to play Ariel. When news of her casting was released, Elle reported that Rob Marshall, the film’s director, released this statement, “After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance—plus a glorious singing voice—all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”
Actor Jacob Tremblay will play the role of Flounder, Hamilton star Daveed Diggs may play the crab Sebastian, and rapper Awkwafina will take on the part of Scuttle, Ariel’s three friends.
The Wrap reported that Harry Styles turned down playing Prince Eric and no actor has been announced in the role.
When it comes to the characters King Triton and Ursula, Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy are each rumored to be possibilities.