The Little Mermaid will star Halle Bailey as Ariel and yes, we’re anxiously awaiting first-look images of what we expect to be a head filled with luscious red locs. The film appears to be going the colorblind casting route as Javier Bardem has been cast as Ariel’s father, King Triton. Melissa McCarthy will be portraying Ariel’s evil aunt Ursula and Jonah Hauer-King will be Prince Eric.
As for Dumezweni, we don’t know who her character will be, but we do know it’ll be a brand new character that did not appear in the 1989 animated version of the film.
More info on Dumezweni, via Deadline:
Dumezweni was one of the major standouts in HBO’s limited series The Undoing opposite Grant and Nicole Kidman. The role could see her in the mix for awards consideration in this upcoming season. On top of that she earned high marks for her role as Paul Mescal’s therapist in Hulu’s adaptation of Normal People. In 2021, she has her HBO series Made For Love.
She also has ties to Disney having worked with the studio on Mary Poppins Returns.
In addition to her TV acclaim, Dumezweni’s run as Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway earned her a Tony nomination in the Featured Actress—Play category. “The Broadway community is a really beautiful thing,” Dumezweni told The Root in a 2018 interview. “I had a great time the night of the awards! Fan-girling and totally happy that I got to have that experience.”
As for The Little Mermaid, the character possibilities are endless—Dumezweni could portray some kind of Fairy Godmother-type maternal guide to Ariel or maybe she’s part of Ursula’s antagonist crew! What if she’s Prince Eric’s mother, aka the Queen? The acclaimed actress has the chops to pull it off, either way.
Once we know more details on the character she will portray, we’ll keep you posted!