Since Disney announced it cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in its live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” the studio has received backlash from those who feel that casting a non-white actor inaccurately represents the fairy-tale character. Many have rushed to defend the choice, though, including the actress who voiced Ariel in the 1989 animated film. Social media, meanwhile, has seen an outpouring of support for the casting choice with many sharing their own racially diverse choices for the roles yet to be cast. According to IMDb, there are only two other confirmed castings: Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder. Big names are petitioning for the remaining roles, though some of these are already rumored to have stars attached. Here’s our roundup of who may next be joining the cast of Disney’s live-action undersea adventure.
Javier Bardem is rumored to be in talks for the role, but his involvement isn’t yet official. Terry Crews is throwing his hat in the ring in the meantime, even posting on Twitter a photo of himself as King Triton, accompanied by the hashtag #ArielsGotTerry.
Melissa McCarthy is not yet confirmed for the role, leaving musician Lizzo to showcase her own take on “Poor Unfortunate Souls” in full Ursula make-up and hair on Twitter along with a caption suggesting she was the best choice. If selected, the musician will already have some acting experience under her belt, thanks to her role in the upcoming film “Hustlers” in which she’ll star opposite Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu.
It’s rumored that Harry Styles is in negotiations for the role. That isn’t stopping fans from coming up with their own casting ideas. Suggestions include Michael B. Jordan, an actor who’s previously shared his strategy of having his agents submit him for breakdowns that call for white actors. Jordan landing the role probably won’t please those who want the film’s cast to reflect “Mermaid” author Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish heritage, but it would further validate the actor’s approach to overcoming limited perspectives on casting.
Disney has stumbled with inclusion and accurate representation in the past, but its choice of Halle Bailey for Ariel could be indicative of more positive steps moving forward. And while fans wait to see how the rest of “The Little Mermaid” cast evolves, they can begin advocating for their dream casting choices for Disney’s other upcoming live-action remakes.