There are three live-action Little Mermaid films on the way. However, only one will triumph and that has the Disney logo. The Disney version is in pre-pre-production, and the only talent attached at present are Lin Manuel-Miranda (Hamilton), and Disney composer Alan Menken. This fancast is inspired by Lin Manuel-Miranda’s previous work. The story is set in the ocean and a random kingdom on the shore, so there is plenty of reason to showcase a range of beautiful and talented people of colour. The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, kickstarting the Disney renaissance, and is perhaps the most iconic Disney animated film, and Disney animated princess. Beauty and the Beast is a close contender, but The Little Mermaid has a vitality and vibrancy that has yet to be matched, although Moana came darn close. My fancast reflects this vitality and vibrancy with a range of talented singers and Broadway stars!
So let’s get started
Before you start with “BUT her hair is not red!!” There is something called hair dye, and black girls have been slayin’ with red hair for a longtime. So, my top pick is Ashleigh Murray, remember her name! She currently stars on CW’s Riverdale as Josie McCoy, the diva lead singer of Josie and the Pussycats. Anyone who is familiar with show knows that Murray has one hell of a voice. One listen to her singing and you will know that she can perfectly capture the magic of Ariel’s voice, and she can definitely hit that iconic note from ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. Ariel is an independent, headstrong, determined, beautiful, and strives for bigger and better things. All of these qualities can be found in Murray. She is also a genuinely amazing talent that deserves a big break.
Diego Boneta, a real life prince. In this fancast, I imagine The Little Mermaid to take place in and around a fictionalized Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Prince Eric’s Castle will be in Mexico, hence the casting of Mexican singer and actor Diego Boneta. He has been in the business for a long time and deserves to showcase his amazing voice. He is charming, dreamy and charismatic, everything Prince Eric should be. Again, he has a wonderful voice, and I hope that the live-action film borrows the song ‘One Step Closer’ from the Broadway show.
There has been discussion lately of who is suited to play Ursula, who was inspired by famous drag queen, Divine. There aren’t many actors who have gained genreal consensus, but I am sure everyone can get behind this fancast. My top choice would be Tituss Burgess, the multi talented and fabulous actor and singer. He also starred in the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid, as Sebastian. He was excellent in the role, but he needs a more glamorous role. Burgess is a larger than life individual, who has proven time and time again that he is one of the best in the industry. He is famous for his high tenor voice and definitely has the voice for ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. Ursula is a dramatic individual, exaggerated facial expression, can sass you for days, and is 100% DIVA!! There are very few actors who capture all of those qualities. If you do not know who Tituss Burgess is, well go fix that.
Norm Lewis is a seasoned Broadway star. He has an impressive resume, which includes, Porgy and Bess, and The Phantom of the Opera. He is the first African-American actor to play the titular role in The Phantom of the Opera. He also originated the role of King Triton in the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid. He is perfect as Triton in the Broadway show, and this Broadway legend needs to play the role on the big screen.
Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, and Alana, the other daughters of Triton. They will have a small part in the live-action film, so the best way to make them memorable is to have super talented stars play Ariel’s beloved sisters. I would love to see the ladies of Hamilton in these roles. Ariel’s sisters will be played by Jasmine Cephas Jones, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Presilah Nunez, Rachel John, & Solea Pfeiffer. This is a diverse group of women who have amazing voices. The ‘Daughters of Triton’ song has just become hella lit!
Flounder is Ariel’s best friend. He is full of anxiety, he is jittery, nervous, but he is Ariel’s most loyal friend. He is also just as curious as Ariel, although he probably won’t admit it. The most important aspect of Flounder is that he is super cute. Which is why Miles Brown is my top pick! He is the cutest kid actor at the moment, and has a big career ahead of him.
Joshua Henry is my tops pick for Sebastian, the Jamaican crab with an affinity for music. Henry is a great choice for Sebastian. He is an impressive Broadway actor and singer. He is also of Jamaican descent and can definitely pull of a Jamaican accent in a song with ease. He also is connected with Hamilton, starring as Aaron Burr in the Chicago production.
Flotsam and Jetsam speak in unison, finish each other’s sentences, and never leave each other’s side. Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr. can totally play these roles perfectly. The two starred alongside Manuel-Miranda in Hamilton. They have a fun chemistry, a delightful friendship, and amazing voices. Both can find the right voices for Flotsam and Jetsam, and the two would definitely have a wicked song, courtesy of Manuel-Miranda.
I hope this fancast reinvigorates your love for The Little Mermaid. Go watch the animated film, and if possible find the Broadway show.
Please comment and share! Do you like fancast? Do you have other suggestions?