‘The Little Mermaid’: This ‘Hamilton’ Star Will Be Joining the Cast Under the Sea

Disney’s upcoming live-action remake The Little Mermaid will be taking audiences back under the sea to relive the beloved fairytale for the first time since the original animated film reached the surface in Nov. 1989.

The Little Mermaid follows the adventures of Ariel, a young mermaid who yearns for a life on land. Disney has been in talks with several members of the music industry, including former One Direction singer, Harry Styles, and recently made an exciting casting announcement.

Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid
Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid | Walt Disney Pictures

‘Hamilton’ star Daveed Diggs is in final talks for ‘The Little Mermaid’

Daveed Diggs is the latest actor to join the new cast for The Little Mermaid live-action remake as Sebastian, King Triton’s crustaceous personal advisor who also watches over Ariel. Sebastian’s show-stealing tune is the famously catchy, Academy Award-winning hit, “Under the Sea”, a fun musical number the crab performs to show Ariel all the perks of undersea life. In the 1989 animated feature, the song was performed by Samuel E. Wright.

Alan Menken, the original composer for the original animated feature film The Little Mermaid, will be returning to put a new spin on the score. Menken will also be collaborating with Hamilton creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda in creating a new sound for the film’s soundtrack.

Daveed Diggs
Daveed Diggs | Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

So, who is Daveed Diggs?

Vocalist of the hip hop group Clipping, Daveed Diggs became a household name after the award-winning Broadway hit Hamilton, a musical about the American Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. Diggs originated the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton, earning both a Grammy Award and Tony Award for his iconic performance.

Since Hamilton, Diggs has played a recurring role in the ABC sitcom, Black-ish and a supporting role in Stephen Chbosky’s comedy-drama Wonder. In, 2018, he earned a nomination for “Best Male Lead” at the Independent Spirit Awards for his performance in the film Blindspotting, where Diggs plays a convinced felon, named Collin, with three days left on his probation. Diggs co-wrote and co-produced the film with his childhood friend, Rafael Casal, who also plays a starring role in the film as Collin’s best friend, Miles.

Diggs’ talent and finesse as both a singer and a rapper will, without a doubt, make him a promising addition to Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey | Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Who else is on board for ‘The Little Mermaid’?

Halle Bailey, the singer from the R&B duo Chloe X Halle, will be starring in The Little Mermaid as the free-spirited Ariel. Her father, the stern King Triton, will be played by No Country for Old Men star, Javier Bardem. Comedy icon Melissa McCarthy will be joining the cast as the sinister, sea witch Ursula. Actress and rapper Awkwafina will be playing Scuttle the seagull. Jacob Tremblay, the up and coming star from Room and Good Boys, will play Ariel’s best fish friend, Flounder.

Disney has yet to announce their selection for Ariel’s human love interest, the dashing Prince Eric. Reportedly, Harry Styles was in talks for the role for some time, but ultimately turned down the role. According to Deadline, Krypton star Cameron Cuffe and British actor Jonah Hauer-King have both recently tested for the role, but no official casting decisions have been made.

When will ‘The Little Mermaid’ surface from the seas and debut on the silver screen?

No one knows for sure yet, as there has not been an announcement regarding an official release date. However, we know that The Little Mermaid is scheduled to start production in the spring of 2020.

So, fans will have to wait to see the beloved animated musical revived on screen, but with talents like Rob Marshall, Alan Menken, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Daveed Diggs in the mix, the wait will be more than worth our journey under the sea.

Read more: Jodi Benson, the Original ‘Ariel,’ Responds to Halle Bailey Cast in ‘The Little Mermaid’