Auli'i Cravalho, the voice behind one of Disney's newest princesses, Moana, is set to make her debut as another Disney princess. ABC has revealed that Cravalho will play Disney's iconic mermaid Ariel in their live production of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! that's set to air on the network November 5.
The announcement of Cravalho as Ariel wasn't the only exciting bit of casting news. It was also announced that Queen Latifah has been tapped to play the evil sea witch Ursula with Mr. Boombastic himself, singer Shaggy being cast as the voice of Ariel's friend, the loveable red crab Sebastian. According to Deadline, Shaggy will most likely perform the Oscar-winning song from the movie version, Under the Sea.
ABC had first announced they were planning on a live version of The Little Mermaid back in 2017, with an air date in October. In August of the same year, they announced the event would be put on hold.
Deadline states that this live version will be a hybrid of the original film interspersed with performances by the star-studded cast. It's said to feature "live musical performances by its star-studded cast interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film," to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Disney animated classic.
The Little Mermaid is also being made into a live-action movie, following in the footsteps of many of Disney's classic animated flicks. Singer and actress Halle Bailey have been cast as Ariel in the big-screen production, while Melissa McCarthy won the role of Ursula, while child actor Jacob Tremblay is reportedly voicing Ariel's friend and confidante Flounder. Awkwafina is said to be the voice of Ariel's seagull friend, Scuttle.
The Hollywood Reporter states that both Harry Styles and Javier Bardem are “in talks” to join the cast as well, as Prince Eric and King Triton respectively. Production isn't set to begin on the feature film until 202, but fans will get to watch Cravalho, Latifa and Shaggy bring the characters to life much sooner.
ABC stated in a press release that this live version of the beloved movie will "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.
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, originally composed by eight-time Oscar-winning composer, Alan Menken. Howard Ashman’s iconic film lyrics will also be showcased, while lyricist for the Broadway adaptation, Glenn Slater, will contribute to the star-studded spectacular."