It looks like we’ll be getting the Ursula we deserve…even if she won’t appear alongside Halle Bailey’s Ariel.
Yesterday, ABC, which is also owned by Disney announced that in addition to the live-action film, they’re also hosting a Little Mermaid live event., similar to The Wiz Live. In this production, Ariel will be played by Auli’i Cravalho, the teenager who voiced Moana. This new casting choice will make her, a girl with native Hawaiian blood, a Disney princess twice over.
But what we’re most happy about the fact that we’re going to get the Ursula we deserve. According to PEOPLE, Queen Latifah will take on role of the unforgettable, diabolical sea witch.
Latifah, who was photographed as Ursula by Annie Leibovitz back in 2011, shared the news on her Instagram page,
Latifah is not the only familiar face in the cast, Shaggy will voice Ariel’s trusted advisor Sebastian. Additional cast announcements will come later.
The live musical is set to air on November 5, 2019 to honor the 30 anniversary of the Little Mermaid. According to the press release, the show is set to “take viewers on a magical adventure under the sea as live musical performances by a star-studded cast will be interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film.”
The release also stated, “This never-before-seen hybrid format will feature beautifully intricate sets and costumes, with music from the original animated film and the Tony Award-winning Broadway stage version.”
The live-action feature film, starring Halle Bailey, will begin production early next year.
While nothing has been finalized, One Direction’s Harry Styles is in talks to play Prince Eric. Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) will voice Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay will portray Flounder, Javier Bardem will play King Triton, and Melissa McCarthy will take on the iconic Ursula.
While most of us would assume this live event coming out before the live action film would be a bit of an overkill, ABC’s president, Karey Burke, doesn’t agree.
Burke said the live event will be a combination of live action, animation and puppetry in a way that is “unlike anything that any network has done before in terms of live-action musical.” Burke said that vision is “mindblowing.”
Personally, I’m excited to see what Latifah will do for the role but I wish she would play the role of the sea witch in the film. I’ll hold out hope.
The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live! will air Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET, live on ABC.