Disney’s Live-Action Little Mermaid Rumor: Zendaya Offered Lead Role

Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid movie is rumored to have offered the lead role of Ariel to Disney Channel actress and singer Zendaya. Over the last decade, Walt Disney Studios has had great success in adapting their animated classics to live-action movies. Whether the live-action films put a new spin on the material – like Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland – or were nearly straight adaptations of the animated movies, such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, Disney has found a way to tap into the nostalgia of its longtime fans while telling these stories anew for younger generations.

Keeping these types of films going, Disney has a number of live-action adaptations in the works. Early next year, Tim Burton’s Dumbo will hit theaters, then Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin later in the spring. After the success of Jon Favreau’s live-action/CGI The Jungle Book, the director is now working on a new version of The Lion King. Currently both Mulan and Maleficent II are officially filming. Another live-action Disney movie in the early stages of development is The Little Mermaid. However, a new rumor indicates the Mouse House already has a star in mind for the titular role.

Related: All The Live-Action Disney Remakes In Development

That Hashtag Show reports that someone close to Disney said Zendaya has been offered the role of Ariel in the studio’s live-action Little Mermaid movie. When asked by THS for comment, Disney and Zendaya’s reps declined. THS further speculated that if the role of Ariel is given to Zendaya or another actress of color, then the character’s father King Triton would be portrayed by a man of color. The Little Mermaid doesn’t yet have a confirmed director, though Rob Marshall is the reported top choice. However, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is on board to co-write the music with legendary composer Alan Menken.

Zendaya undoubtedly has the chops and experience to portray Ariel, having co-starred in 20th Century Fox’s P.T. Barnum musical The Greatest Showman and being a successful pop singer in her own right. The actress also has a history with Disney, having starred in two Disney Channel television series, Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover. Zendaya has taken on more big screen roles in recent years, joining Sony’s Spider-Man series that’s part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She debuted as Michelle in Spider-Man: Homecoming and is expected to return to the role for the sequel, 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. Given all her experience and talent, Zendaya would be a fantastic choice for a modern take on Disney’s Little Mermaid.

Of course, casting a black actress like Zendaya in the role of Ariel would likely result in backlash against Disney’s production. Similarly, there was backlash when rumors surfaced she’d be playing Sony’s take on Mary Jane Watson in its Spider-Man series, with some comic fans crying for a “comics accurate” portrayal of MJ, who’s typically a white, redheaded woman (despite the fact that black people can have red hair). If Disney confirms the casting of Zendaya as Ariel, it’s likely there will be some resistance among certain fans of the Mouse House, but the actress also has a number of fans who would no doubt be excited to see her take on the role.

All that said, this is still a rumor for now, and shouldn’t be taken as fact. Though Disney may have offered the role to Zendaya, there’s no guarantee the actress will accept the offer or join the production. Still, if rumors of The Little Mermaid casting are going around, that may indicate Disney is ready to move forward with their latest live-action adaptation. As such, more should be learned about The Little Mermaid in the coming months.

Next: So Hot Right Now: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Meteoric Rise to the Top

Source: That Hashtag Show

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Bond 25 Rumor: Christopher McQuarrie Eyed To Direct

Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie is rumored to be a possible replacement for Bond 25. Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 is set to open in theaters next November, and was set to be helmed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case, as Boyle recently departed the project due to creative differences. Since Bond 25 was already in the midst of casting principal roles and supposed to start filming in December, it gives the producers little time to find someone else and keep the production on schedule.

Fans will have their own picks until an official announcement is made, and several would be more than thrilled to see McQuarrie make the leap from the IMF to MI6. He’s directed arguably the strongest Mission: Impossible films to date, with Fallout considered one of the best action movies in the last several years. It shouldn’t come as any surprise his name has already been brought up as a possibility.

Related: Mission: Impossible Is Now Better Than James Bond

Justin Kroll of Variety posted on Twitter that McQuarrie’s name is “being floated as a replacement” for the Bond 25 gig. He cautions that this is a rumor for the time being, so viewers should definitely take this with a healthy dose of salt. Check out his post in the space below:

After Rogue Nation and Fallout, McQuarrie has clearly demonstrated a knack for delivering thrilling, fast-paced action movies. Some would argue his work on Mission: Impossible has elevated that franchise past Bond (which is coming off the lackluster Spectre), so McQuarrie would be a great get for EON. However, it doesn’t read as a very plausible scenario. Based on comments he’s made, McQuarrie seems ready to take some time off and recharge his batteries before jumping head first into a new project. He just concluded the Fallout press tour, so it’s unlikely he’d be willing to take on another massive task so soon. Plus, as Kroll notes, McQuarrie would prefer to develop something original next, instead of helming another sequel. There’s always the possibility he gets roped in to make Mission: Impossible 7 for Paramount at some point, too.

McQuarrie’s crafting of amazing set pieces and penchant for twisty narratives reads as the perfect match for 007, but sadly, the timing here doesn’t line up. Bond 25 will have to look elsewhere for its director, though a number of big names (like Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve) are already out of the running. Even Martin Campbell, the man behind Goldeneye and Casino Royale, has said he won’t return unless Bond is recast. That isn’t happening until after this film, so hopefully the producers find a replacement soon.

MORE: Every James Bond 25 Update You Need To Know

 Source: Justin Kroll

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