'Little Mermaid' Live TV Musical Casts Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel for ABC
By Philiana Ng
There's another Ariel to to fall in love with.
Singer and actress Auli'i Cravalho (Rise, Moana) has been cast in the role in ABC's upcoming live musical production of The Little Mermaid, which will air in November as part of The Wonderful World of Disney, the network announced Monday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
Joining Cravalho are Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian.
The tribute to the original 1989 animated classic, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Nov. 17, aims to take viewers on an adventure under the sea through live musical performances by the star-studded cast that will interweave through the broadcast of the film. Puppetry will also be featured in the live production.
According to ABC, the two-hour live production will showcase a hybrid format and will feature intricate sets and costumes, with music from the original animated film and the Broadway musical, originally composed by Alan Menken. Howard Ashman’s iconic film lyrics will also be showcased, while the lyricist for the Broadway adaptation, Glenn Slater, will contribute to the production.
The timing of The Little Mermaid Live! comes one month after Disney officially cast Chloe x Halle singer Halle Bailey in the lead role of Ariel in the upcoming live-action movie. Former One Direction singer Harry Styles is in early talks to play Prince Eric, andJavier Bardem is in talks to play Ariel's father, King Triton.
Casting for ABC's live telecast was completed well before Bailey's announcement in July.
The Little Mermaid Live! will premiere Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.