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ABC Monday just announced plans for a live musical version of the Disney film, which is set to air Nov. 5 with Auli’l Cravalho (“Moana”) as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula the sea witch and Shaggy as Sebastian the crab.
This project is completely separate from the live-action remake due in theaters with Halle Bailey as Ariel.
Latifah shared the news on her page. In the caption she wrote:
“Fortunately I know a little magic.” Excited to be a part of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! #Ursula #TheLittleMermaid #TeamSeaWitch . . : #AnnieLeibovitz“
According to USA Today:
ABC announced plans for this project in May 2017, only to cancel it that August due to high costs, then said to be $25 million. That decision followed diminishing returns for musicals on NBC, which started the recent trend in 2013 with “The Sound of Music” but has since canceled plans for “Bye Bye Birdie” and, earlier this year, “Hair.”
The network has trimmed the fins (and budget) of this “Mermaid,” originally based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, on the 30th anniversary of its release. The two-hour “hybrid” special will feature musical performances from both the movie and the Broadway stage version on new sets (and with puppets!) that will be “interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film.”
Congrats to Queen Latifah and Shaggy!