BY ABIGAIL ONG-PIZARRO, SCREEN RANT
New set photos from Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid show Halle Bailey recreate an iconic Ariel scene from the 1989 animated classic. The upcoming movie is the latest live-action remake of a beloved Disney film following Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan. In an exciting step forward for the company, Grown-ish star and singer Bailey was chosen to play the lead role of Ariel. Other The Little Mermaid cast members include Javier Bardem as King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula.
The Little Mermaid is currently in the middle of production in Sardinia, Italy after many months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Previous set images seem to confirm the live-action reboot will make several updates to the animated movie. While filming the shipwreck scene, Bailey was spotted wearing a full wetsuit instead of a sea-shell bikini top. The Little Mermaid actress also showed off a new hairdo for Ariel, trading in the character’s bright red and wavy look for braids. However, new photos from the filming location reveal Disney is also keen on keeping some of the character’s distinct looks as well.
New pictures from the set have surfaced, showing Bailey recreating a key scene in The Little Mermaid. Obtained by Just Jared, they reveal the 21-year-old actress wearing Ariel’s iconic makeshift burlap dress in the photos. Bailey’s hair also seems to be more clearly dyed in a reddish shade than what’s been noticeable in past photos. The images look to be from the scene when the mermaid princess finally gets her legs and surfaces from the water. She hides herself by making a dress out of scrap fabric she found on the shore. It’s also the moment when she meets Prince Eric for the first time. Check out the set photos below:
In the cartoon, Prince Eric whisks Ariel off to his castle after this first encounter. However, the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid seems to deviate from this narrative. Bailey was snapped hitching a ride on the back of a local villager’s wagon. One picture shows the actress peeking from a blanket to peer at the seaside townspeople.
These contrasts to the 1989 animated film prove Disney intends to give the new Little Mermaid a major update. Audiences can likely expect relevant social themes will be subtly injected into the remake to make it more contemporary. However, it’s hard to tell if these changes will pay off to make a blockbuster hit. The studio has tried changes with previous remakes like Mulan, which only drew the ire of Disney loyalists for its decision to omit the popular character Mushu, for example. The Little Mermaid certainly has big shoes to fill as the original movie was a huge success and went on to usher in the Disney renaissance of the ’90s. Hopefully, the live-action adaptation finds the perfect way to modernize the classic tale without losing the magic of its past.
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