Disney's the Little Mermaid may have just found its Sebastian, as Daveed Diggs is reportedly in talks to play the role. Known primarily as the vocalist of the hip hop group Clipping, Diggs has also won both a Tony Award an a Grammy for his work in the musical Hamilton. Additionally, he has appeared in a recurring role on Black-ish and wrote and starred in the 2018 movie Blindspotting, which earned him a Best Male Lead nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards. He has also appeared in the Netflix movie Velvet Buzzsaw and has been cast as Frederick Douglass in the upcoming Showtime series The Good Lord Bird.
If cast, Daveed Diggs would join Halle x Chloe singer Halle Bailey as a part of the cast of The Little Mermaid. Other names reported to be in talks for certain roles include Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the sea-witch, Jacob Trembly as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle. Harry Styles, Cameron Cuffe, and Jonah Hauer-King have all also come up in the news as possible names in contention to play Prince Eric, but the role has yet to be officially cast. Additionally, Javier Bardem was reported to be in the running to play Ariel's father, King Triton. As the project will reportedly start shooting this spring, the project should be officially finalizing more of its cast members in the near future.
Released in 1989, the animated version of The Little Mermaid tells the story of the mermaid princess Ariel. After falling in love with a human prince, Ariel makes a deal with Ursula the sea-witch for a chance to become human and pursue a relationship with him, but Ursula has a sinister and ulterior motive for helping her. The upcoming live-action remake will be directed by Rob Marshall using a screenplay by David Magee, incorporating songs from the original version while adding new tunes from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Additionally, Miranda and Marshall are producing alongside Marc Platt and John Deluca.
As the lovable crab particularly known for leading the tune "Under the Sea," Sebastian was originally voiced by Samuel E. Wright. Since the news of a live-action Little Remake was first announced, some fans had been holding out hope Wright would be able to reprise the role with his iconic and unforgettable voice. Diggs' potential casting would put the kibosh on that idea, though Diggs would certainly bring a lot of talent of his own to the role. Wright's inclusion would have undoubtedly been awesome, but there's no reason to believe Diggs won't do a fine job as well, given the acclaim he has already achieved both with acting and in music.
Interestingly enough, Sebastian will also be played by the reggae singer Shaggy in ABC's upcoming production The Little Mermaid Live!, which premieres on Nov. 5. We'll see if Diggs manages to finalize a deal to play the crab in the live-action movie, but the actor doesn't appear to be a bad choice at all for the role. This news comes to us from Variety.
Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid already has Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on board as a producer and writer of new songs, but now Miranda will be writing for one of his original Hamilton cast members. Daveed Diggs, who broke out in the dual roles of Thomas Jefferson/Marquis de Lafayette in Miranda’s mega-hit Broadway musical, has been cast as Sebastian in the new remake. I’m guessing “Under the Sea” is going to involve a rap breakdown in this version.
Variety has the news about Diggs joining the cast, which already includes Halle Bailey as Ariel, the mermaid princess who yearns for a life above the ocean; Melissa McCarthy as the evil Ursula, who tricks Ariel into giving up her voice in exchange for a pair of human legs; and Javier Bardem, who is still in talks to play Ariel’s father, the strict King Triton.
In the 1989 animated film, Sebastian was a Jamaican-accented crab who worked for Triton as the kingdom’s royal composer. As Ariel spins off into her adventure, Sebastian tags along to try to keep her out of trouble, singing two of the film’s most famous songs in the process: the full-fledged banger “Under the Sea,” and the sultry ballad “Kiss the Girl.”
Diggs, a talented musician with a knack for delivering wicked fast raps, catapulted from his Grammy and Tony Award-winning Hamilton fame to co-write and star in one of last year’s most acclaimed indie films, Blindspotting. He’s also appeared on shows like The Get Down, black-ish, Undone, and more. Putting aside the fact that these live-action Disney remakes are almost never great at best, they’re better than expected; at worst, they’re creatively bankrupt, I must reluctantly admit that Diggs is a pretty great choice to play a new Sebastian. Reuniting with Miranda may result in some magical new songs, but even without the musical component, he has the versatility to be able to slide into this role with ease. I just wonder if Disney finds themselves interested in taking any big swings with these live-action remakes in terms of altering the story to make things more contemporary, or if they’re always going to be content with making incremental changes that often don’t amount to much.
Rob Marshall Mary Poppins Returns, Into the Woods is directing this film, which frankly doesn’t give me a lot of hope for it. But maybe writer David Magee Life of Pi, Finding Neverland is interested in changing things up a bit, and I guess if all else fails, at least the musical numbers featuring songs from the 1989 classic, as well as those new tunes from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda could be worth watching on a plane one day.
Filming on the new remake is expected to begin sometime in 2020.
ABC's Little Mermaid Live has found its Prince Eric.
Graham Philips The Good Wife, Broadway's 13 will play the prince in the live production, opposite Moana star Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel. John Stamos has also joined the cast, playing Chef Louis.
The cast also includes Queen Latifah as villain Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian the crab.
The Little Mermaid Live, which will air under the Wonderful World of Disney banner, will be a hybrid performance, featuring live performances from the the cast interwoven into a broadcast of the 1989 animated film. The live portion will feature intricate sets and costumes by Emmy winner Zaldy RuPaul's Drag Race and music from both the movie and a Broadway musical based on the film.
Stamos previously played Chef Louis in a Hollywood Bowl production of The Little Mermaid. The actor's stage credits also include The Best Man, Nine and Cabaret.
Phillips has also appeared on stage in The Little Prince, A Christmas Carol: The Musical and The Ten Commandments: The Musical. In addition to The Good Wife, he has recurred on Riverdale and Netflix's Atypical.
Set to air Nov. 5, The Little Mermaid Live is produced by Done+Dusted. The company's Hamish Hamilton who's also directing, Katy Mullan, David Jammy, Raj Kapoor and Ian Stewart executive produce along with Richard Kraft, producer and director of the Hollywood Bowl productions of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
Disney is also producing a live-action/CGI version of the story as a feature film, with Halle Bailey set to play Ariel.
Harry Styles turned down Disney's the Little Mermaid remake to focus on his music. Reports started to surface in July that he was in talks to take on the role of Prince Eric. However, it was later revealed he declined the role.
Both the studio and Harry Styles have been quiet about the matter, but it is believed that there is no ill will on either side. Styles had this to say about the possible casting.
"It was discussed... I want to put music out and focus on that for a while. But everyone involved in it was amazing, so I think it's going to be great. I'll enjoy watching it, I'm sure."
While Harry Styles didn't want to go into details about The Little Mermaid remake casting news, he was more than willing to talk about a role that he didn't get. The actor/musician was in the running to play Elvis Presley in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic, but the role ended up going to Austin Butler. While he obviously wanted the role, he wasn't too bummed out when it went to Butler. He explains.
Related: Disney's Little Mermaid Remake Wants Javier Bardem as King Triton?
"Elvis was such an icon for me growing up. There was something almost sacred about him, almost like I didn't want to touch him. Then I ended up getting into his life a bit and I wasn't disappointed... I feel like if I'm not the right person for the thing, then it's best for both of us that I don't do it, you know?"
Harry Styles shocked millions of One Direction fans when he decided to leave the group. He launched into a solo record that took a big left turn from what his fans were used to. Instead of going straight for sugary pop music, Styles ventured into the world of early 70s West Coast rock and decided not to tour on the album right away. In the end, the gamble paid off, as the record sold over 1 million copies. It was during this time that he took his first big acting role, signing on to play a British soldier in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.
Legendary rock musician Elton John loves how Harry Styles "takes chances and risks," and was very happy with his performance in Dunkirk. After leaving One Direction, John urged Styles to "diversify," which he took to heart. The actor/musician's career is pretty much open for him to do whatever he wants at this point in time. He had this to say when asked about his urge to keep acting.
"Why do I want to act? It's so different to music for me. They're almost opposite for me. Music, you try and put so much of yourself into it; acting, you're trying to totally disappear in whoever you're being."
Harry Styles will show up on the big screen at some point down the line but not in an upcoming Disney movie. It seems like it is time to focus some more on the music side of things. His latest record is complete and he's preparing to release a single. According to Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, it's unlike anything Styles has ever done. Nicks, who is a friend of the young artist, says the new album is "spectacular." The interview with Harry Styles was originally conducted by The Face.
Harry Styles declined playing Prince Eric in Disney's upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid. Now, another contender has risen to the surface in 13 Reasons Why star Christian Navarro. He threw his hat into the ring on Twitter saying this shortly after Harry Styles announced he wouldn't be taking the role.
"So I heard Harry Styles passed on Prince Eric, well...I can sing. Black Ariel/Latino Prince...no ones called but Season 3 drops next week and I think it's one hell of an audition."
The actor tagged Disney Studios and Melissa McCarthy in his original Tweet. McCarthy has long been tied to the role of Ursula, but has never been officially confirmed. Someone at Disney was listening, as they reached out to Christian Navarro, and the young up-and-comer has auditioned for the studio. He offers this in a follow-up post.
Related: Disney's Little Mermaid Remake Wants Harry Styles as Prince Eric?
"Idk what happened to the other tweet. But! @disney saw this, saw your support, and gave my team a call. They wanted to see what I could do. Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let's make some history. #iloveyou3000 #PrinceEric."
Most actors don't make it widely known on social media when they are auditioning for such a hugely coveted role as Prince Eric in a live-action Disney remake. Disney may have okayed this shout out to get a feel from fans on how they'd accept Navarro as one of their most iconic characters. Christopher Daniel Barnes, who appeared in The Brady Bunch movies as Greg Brady, did the original voice for Prince Eric.
The only actor 100% confirmed for The Little Mermaid is Halle Bailey in the lead role of Ariel. The casting announcement caught some fans off guard, but most have been excepting of this switch for the character, with an actress of color playing the mermaid. Melissa McCarthy has long been rumored to play Ursula, though Disney didn't confirm any further casting news at the D23 Expo last weekend. Also rumored but not officially confirmed are Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle. Javier Bardem is also rumored to play King Triton.
It's not yet clear when Disney will make the formal casting announcement. And we're not sure Christian Navarro will be a part of that announcement when it arrives. But it appears that he's putting in the leg work for the role. If you want to see the guy take on Prince Eric, now would be a good time to make your voices heard. Disney is definitely listening and awaits any social media input on the subject. What do you think? Is Christian Navarro the right Prince for the job?
Idk what happened to the other tweet. But! @disney saw this, saw your support, and gave my team a call. They wanted to see what I could do. Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history. #iloveyou3000#PrinceEric#TheLittleMermaidhttps://t.co/192ZTsfqyH
— Christian Navarro @ChristianLN0821 September 3, 2019
Linda Hamilton returns to her ass-kicking action roots in the latest trailer for Paramount Pictures’ fall tentpole “Terminator: Dark Fate.” After playing Sarah Connor in James Cameron's beloved “The Terminator” and groundbreaking “T2: Judgment Day,” Hamilton became an action-movie icon. Smartly, the actress skipped out on the poorly reviewed sequels “Rise of the Machines,” “Genisys,” and “Salvation,” but fortunately “Dark Fate” is retconning the “Terminator” franchise by serving as a director sequel to 1991’s “Judgment Day.” Watch the latest trailer for “Dark Fate” below.
Speaking on why she didn’t participate in the last three “Terminator” films, Hamilton said, “They're very forgettable, aren't they? You start something and you're invested in the franchise, but somehow the characters that you care about weren't there. Too many people, too many story points. So I think we've done a good job of narrowing down the focus again so it will echo the first two films.”
“Terminator: Dark Fate” stars Hamilton opposite franchise newcomers Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta. Despite fresh blood, the film's biggest selling point is the reunion between original “Terminator” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hamilton. The franchise's creator James Cameron is also back in a producing role, although he was heavily involved with the film's making and story idea. The film is director by “Deadpool” filmmaker Tim Miller, working in “The Terminator” universe for the first time.
Speaking of Davis’ cyborg character, Miller said, “If you're at all enlightened, she'll play like gangbusters. If you're a closet misogynist, she'll scare the fuck out of you, because she's tough and strong but very feminine. We did not trade certain gender traits for others; she's just very strong, and that frightens some dudes. You can see online the responses to some of the early shit that's out there, trolls on the internet. I don't give a fuck.”
“It's a painful life, and they're scarred and take a lot of drugs to combat the pain of what's been done to them. They don't live a long time,” Miller said of the character.
Produced by James Cameron, the film releases November 1.