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Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina in Talks for Disney's Live-Action 'Little Mermaid'

Melissa McCarthy is already in talks for the adaptation of the studio's own 1989 animated classic.
Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina   |   Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images; Rich Fury/Getty Images
Melissa McCarthy is already in talks for the adaptation of the studio's own 1989 animated classic.

Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are in talks to go under the sea for Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic The Little Mermaid.

The feature project, with Rob Marshall sitting in the director’s chair, is casting up on several fronts, with Melissa McCarthy already in talks to play the villain in the story, the sea witch Ursula.

The 1989 animated movie loosely retold the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of a mermaid named Ariel who yearns to be human after she falls in love with a prince. Ariel makes a deal with Ursula, who grants her wish but takes her voice.

If the deals are made, Tremblay would give life to Flounder, Ariel’s best friend, who is a fish. Jason Marin voiced him in the original pic, and the character had singing duties in the Broadway adaptation.

Awkwafina would play Scuttle, the seagull friend of the red-headed princess. Buddy Hackett voiced the character in the animated movie.

The feature will showcase all the well-known songs and also have new material. Original composer Alan Menken is teaming with Lin-Manuel Miranda, with Menken composing and co-writing new lyrics with Miranda.

Marc Platt, who worked with Marshall on Mary Poppin Returns and executive produced Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin remake, is producing. Marshall and John DeLuca are also producing Little Mermaid, as is Miranda.

Since breaking out with Room, Tremblay has established himself as one of the most in-demand in Hollywood’s under-20 set. He starred with Julia Roberts in the hit drama Wonder and was a key part of Shane Black’s Predator. The actor next appears with Ewan McGregor in Doctor Sleep, Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining. Tremblay is repped by UTA.

Awkwafina stole scenes in last year’s Crazy Rich Asians and will be seen in Sony’s upcoming Jumanji sequel. She is also voicing a character in Netflix’s upcoming series, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The actress is currently shooting Breaking News in Yuba County and stars in the well-reviewed Sundance drama, The Farewell, which is due out later this month. Awkwafina is repped by UTA, Artists First and attorney Isaac Dunham.

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