Fancast: The Little Mermaid

Alrighty, folks! We’ve got some big news, for the second time in Disney history we will be getting a Black woman as the princess in a live-action remake!

The first was away back in the ye ol days of 1997 when Brandy Norwood was cast as Cinderella and Ms. Whitney Houston as Fairy God Mother.

The movie also featured Whoopi Goldberg as the mother of the prince, and Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher the Foot Fetishist (get your freak on sir, we don’t kink-shame).

Now, it only took 21 years, seven months, and two days later, we finally got another! Halle Bailey from ChloexHalle, Beyoncé’s chosen ones has been cast to play Ariel! And since most of the remaining cast is still up in the air, we thought we’d whip off a quick little fancast for everyone.

First and foremost, our Princess. We will leave the explanation of her casting to the man in charge.

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”

– Rob Marshall

and that’s on period luv, xo!

The second casting that’s been confirmed is Scuttle, who will be voiced by Awkwafina.

We said what we needed to already, so let’s move on.

Let’s get to the unconfirmed castings now! First up, everyone’s favourite sinister cephalopod, Ursula. We know Melissa McCarthy is in talks, but conversations can end poorly.

So we suggest they cast Tituss Burgess to play Ursula, he’s got the stage experience, the voice, the attitude and! He was a part of The Little Mermaid on stage, as Sebastian though *side eyes*.

However, there is the matter of colourism. Halle is relatively light-skinned and to have a dark skin villain would play into the troupe of darker skinned folks being evil, so we got around this by setting the rule that Ursula’s human persona needs to be of a similar or lighter skin tone.

That’s why when we came up with Madison Pettis. She’s lightskinned, an experienced actor and more specifically a voice actor. She’s had speaking roles on Phineas and Ferb, The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar. Her voice control will give her the edge to perform those subtle vocal cues that show that Ursula can play innocent, but switch to evil and duplicitous in a heartbeat!

I’m going to be honest. I think Prince Eric never really had much of a personality so we really could’ve cast a lot of actors here. But, we had a personal rule here. The casting needed to be age appropriate, because Halle is 19 and having her partner be a 30-year-old was a no. So, we settled on Jharrel Jerome. Jharrel has displayed his ability to portray heartbreaking roles on both Moonlight and When They See Us, and we’d like to see him have the chance to play a happier character.

For her (and my) daddy, King Triton, we’d like to cast Michael Ealy. Those eyes? They belong to a god of the sea. The voice? Low and powerful, like the crashing of the waves against the rocks. Real talk, I want to see him shirtless and this way he gets that Disney cheque too.

Now, King Triton and Queen Athena (RIP) got busy frequently so let’s power through the other princesses, shall we?

Amiyah Scott for Attina

Keke Palmer for Alana

Sierra McClain for Adella

Lauryn McClain for Aquata

China Anne McClain for Arista

Chloe Hailey for Andrina

Moving onto our favourite casting, Ian Chen as Flounder. Ian Chen is an amazing actor; we’ve all seen that on Fresh Off The Boat, but it’s his voice that won him the casting. Ian has a youthful voice, something that conveys an innocent playfulness that made Flounder an instant fan favourite.

Important disclaimer!

While Sebastian is supposed to be Jamaican, his voice actor was unable to do the accent so they settled on a (poorly done) Trinidadian accent. That being said, we will be sticking to Jamaican as that is the intended accent they were going for. The Jamaican actor/singer we landed on is Shaggy

He’s a great singer, has a natural accent that would lend itself well to Sebastian’s character without the ear-grating fake Jamaican accents we hear even to this day. Plus, Shaggy has also reviewed this character in the past for a video for FBE on YouTube, so why not give him the chance to make it better.

For the role of Carlotta we picked Kathy Bates, she’s got the acting chops to turn this into a one-woman movie, to be honest. But, since Ursula has to go to a drag performer, we will give the role of Carlotta to her.

As for Grimsby, there was no other choice but Charles Dance. He’s already got the experience of being a king’s keeper, so I’m sure the skills are transferable to princes as well.

For Flotsam and Jetsam, we picked Shohreh Aghdashloo and Kelly Bishop. There’s not much we can do to explain, just google them and watch any video of them speaking. The power and gravitas in their voice makes them the only choices for the role.

Having saved the best for last, we present to you our pick for Chef Louis, Chef Gordon Ramsay. The man with culinary expertise to breakdown Sebastian faster than you could say ‘Les Poissons,’ and honestly I’d love to see him berate some scullery cooks. Yes, I know, he’s not French. But neither is Emma Watson, but they let her “sing” her way into Beauty and the Beast didn’t they?

That’s all we have for you, folks!

Tell us what you think, do you have any suggestions for the castings we made. Follow NerdyPoC here and on twitter. Be sure to check out our other pieces, like this one about a new non-binary character on Young Justice!

By: April Morris, Elaine Nyugen, Keshav Kant & Melissa Lee

Edited By: Raissa V.

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Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a med student tuned Executive Director of Off Colour!

You’ve probably seen her on Twitter and TikTok, both @MxKantEven, or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels.

From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.

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