Life is about to get so much better “under the sea.” Over 30 years after Disney fans first watched Ariel and her friends in The Little Mermaid, Disney is currently working on a live-action version of the iconic animated film. After the box office success of The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and others, Disney is ready to take things up a notch with a live-action retelling of everyone’s favorite mermaid tale.

The film, directed by Chicago and Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall, is currently planned for a November 2021 release date. It already has an impressive cast. The live-action version will look a little different than the animated film, but fans can’t wait to watch it. Read on to find out the cast and their animated counterparts.

7 Awkwafina – Scuttle

Scuttle is an iconic character from the animated film. He’s Ariel’s friend who seems to know everything in the “human world.” Originally voiced by Buddy Hackett, Scuttle educates the mermaid about human inventions, but he’s not always accurate with his information. For example, he calls a fork a “dinglehopper,” explaining that it’s used as a hairbrush.

Crazy Rich Asians and The Farewell star Awkwafina will be voicing Scuttle in the live-action version. This is a gender-swapping casting decision, but Awkwafina is “more than honored” to take on the role. Given the star’s unique sense of humor, Scuttle will have more sass and flair. Fans can’t wait.

6 Jacob Tremblay – Flounder

Flounder is Ariel’s best friend in the animated film. Originally voiced by Jason Marin, Flounder is always available for Ariel’s adventures under the sea. He sometimes doesn’t like the consequences of these adventures, but he’s loyal to Ariel, no matter what.

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Young 13-year-old Room star Jacob Tremblay will be voicing Flounder in the new version. For the most part, fans are in agreement that he’s the best choice for the role. He’s young, talented, and he will be adorable as a tropical fish. Before Tremblay was cast, he said, “What kid wouldn’t wanna be in a Disney movie? I mean, that would be pretty cool.”


5 Daveed Diggs – Sebastian

You might have a love-hate relationship with Sebastian. The crab is King Triton’s loyal messenger. He keeps track of Ariel’s adventures and he wants to convince her that life is so much better “under the sea.” Originally voiced by Samuel E. Wright, Sebastian is a good sidekick who is often torn between his loyalty to King Triton and to Ariel.

Hamilton star Daveed Diggs is going to voice Sebastian in the live-action retelling. Diggs is a talented singer, so he can certainly offer his own rendition of “Under the Sea.” Fans love his musical performances, so they can’t wait to see how he will transform Sebastian for a modern audience.

4 Javier Bardem – King Triton

King Triton is the ruler of Atlantica in The Little Mermaid. Originally voiced by Kenneth Mars, the character is based on the Greek mythological sea god, Poseidon. He doesn’t understand Ariel’s dream of being a human with legs, so he forbids her from swimming to the surface of the ocean. Of course, Ariel is a rebel and doesn’t listen to her father.

It has been reported that No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem will be portraying King Triton in the live-action film. Bardem has played villains in other movies, so fans wonder if King Triton will be angrier and incredibly strict in this retelling. If that’s the case, let’s hope he’s not too mean to Ariel. In the animated movie, King Triton has his orders, but he also has a soft spot for his beloved daughter.

3 Melissa McCarthy – Ursula

Every Disney film has a villain. In The Little Mermaid, that villain is the tentacle sea witch, Ursula. First voiced by Pat Carroll, Ursula tricks Ariel into giving up her voice in exchange for her legs so Ariel can meet Prince Eric. She has ulterior motives to steal King Triton’s trident sword to take over the sea.

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Famous comedian Melissa McCarthy is going to tackle the iconic Disney villain in the live-action movie. At first, fans hoped a drag queen would be portraying the character, but no one could argue that it’ll be interesting to see McCarthy’s performance. She certainly has a lively energy that will be essential for Ursula.

2 Jonah Hauer-King – Prince Eric

Prince Eric is one of the more attractive Disney princes. Can you blame Ariel for falling in love with him? Originally voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes, fans have loved Prince Eric and they were waiting for the right actor to be cast for the iconic role.

Originally, Harry Styles was rumored to be cast in the live-action film, but the role ultimately went to A Dog’s Way Home and Little Women (BBC miniseries) star Jonah Hauer-King. He resembles Prince Eric and he will probably make fans swoon in the retelling.

1 Halle Bailey – Ariel

In 2019, it was announced 20-year-old singer and Grown-ish star Halle Bailey will be playing the heroine Ariel in the live-action film. The decision was met with controversial remarks because Bailey doesn’t resemble Ariel’s trademark red hair and fair skin. However, everyone involved with the film and Bailey herself has supported the decision.

Bailey commented, “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me, and greater.” In addition, original Ariel voice actor Jodi Benson supports the casting. She said, “I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts. I think the most important thing for a film is to be able to tell a story.”

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