It’s dangerous when you try and remake a beloved classic like The Little Mermaid (1989). Disney has already come under fire for its casting decisions, and the run time has been announced as the longest of all of Disney’s live-action remakes.
But Disney brought in an experienced hand to work on this version of The Little Mermaid: Producer Lin-Manuel Miranda. The creator of Hamilton is no stranger to working with Disney Animation. He also wrote songs for Moana (2016) and Encanto (2021). He also had a staring role in Mary Poppins Returns (2018).
This was going to be different for Manuel Miranda, though. He said his main job was to be the “Chairman of the Don’t F– It Up Committee.” He also said he would speak up when he saw something “F–d up.” He admitted that he was a fan of the original and wanted to ensure that this new version remained true to its roots but also offered something new to the audience.
Manuel Miranda told Empire:
I said ‘Happy to write new lyrics if they need them. And if they don’t, I won’t. I do not want to shoehorn in a song that no one wants to sit through because they want to get to ‘Under the Sea’ already. I’m that person! Get on with ‘Under the Sea.’
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote three original songs for The Little Mermaid, but based on what he said, the songs will remain faithful to the original story and not feel out of place in this new version.
This latest version of The Little Mermaid opens on May 26 and stars Halle Bailey as Ariel. Manuel Miranda also brought Hamilton alum Daveed Diggs into the fold as the voice of Sebastian the Crab. No wonder Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t wait to hear “Under the Sea.” The movie also stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and Javier Bardem as King Triton.
The Little Mermaid came under fire for casting Halle Bailey, an African-American woman, as Ariel, but once fans saw the first trailer, it became clear that she was the right choice for the role. And with Lin-Manuel Miranda writing original songs and producing and Rob Marshall directing, how can Disney go wrong?