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Daveed Diggs in Talks to Play Sebastian in Disney's Live-Action 'Little Mermaid'

Director Rob Marshall is behind the project, an update of the 1989 animated pic that won original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken.
Daveed Diggs, 'The Little Mermaid' (1989)   |   Araya Diaz/Getty Images; Courtesy of Photofest
Director Rob Marshall is behind the project, an update of the 1989 animated pic that won original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken.

Daveed Diggs, one of the stars of Hamilton, is in final negotiations to join the lineup of Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Director Rob Marshall is behind the project, an update of the 1989 animated pic that won original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken. 

The new movie is in casting mode with Halle Bailey as Ariel, Javier Bardem as King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as the villainess, Ursula. Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay are also on the call sheet.

Diggs will play Sebastian, the crab who is Triton’s advisor. His main song is the show-stopping number "Under the Sea." Samuel E. Wright voiced the character in the original pic.

For the new film, Menken will update his score and compose a new song with lyrics from Lin-Manuel Miranda. Marc Platt, who worked with Marshall on Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns and executive produced the studio’s live-action Aladdin remake, is producing Little Mermaid. Marshall and John DeLuca are also producers, as is Miranda.

Diggs originated the parts of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the original production of Hamilton, winning both a Grammy and a Tony. He also wrote, produced and starred in Blindspotting, a drama released in 2018 which earned him an Indie Spirit nomination, and has appeared in such films as Wonder and Velvet Buzzsaw. 

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