'Little Mermaid' May Have Found Its Live-Action Sebastian in Daveed Diggs

The Little Mermaid live action film might have found its Sebastian. Hamilton star Daveed Diggs is reportedly in talks to join the star-studded cast of the upcoming remake film for the beloved film. Halle Bailey is set to play the role of Ariel, a mermaid who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy will play Ursula. Javier Bardem is reportedly also in talks to play King Triton.

The film will be directed by Rob Marshall and writen by David Magee. It will reportedly incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated film, as well as new music from composer Alan Menken and lyrics by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Miranda is also producing the movie, Variety reports, with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca.

(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

In the original film, Sebastian is a Jamaican crab and servant of King Triton who performs the iconic song, "Under the Sea," while attempting to convince Ariel to forget about her dreams of exploring live outside of the waters.

Diggs rose to fame after his breakout role in the beloved Broadway musical, playing both Thomas Jefferson and Marqui de Lafayette. He has made a transition to film and appeared and co-wrote Blindspotting, which was critically acclaimed upon its release.

The actor was most recently seen in the Netflix film Velvet Buzzsaw, also starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Toni Collette. He is set to play Frederick Douglass in the upcoming Showtime limited series The Good Lord Bird.

The latest casting news comes a few months after reports surfaced that former One Direction member Harry Styles turned down the role of Prince Eric in the remake, after news broke he was in talks to join the cast. At the time a source told The Wrap Styles was a fan of the project,but respectfully chose not to take on the role.

Production for the remake is expected to begin in early 2020. McCarthy previously teased her role as Ursula in July sitting down with Jimmy Kimmel.

"What's that?" she playfully told the host at the time. "I hadn't heard about that. It seems like it will be an awfully fun thing to do. Oh, I'd love if Disney gave me a little ringy dingy. We'll see."

"If it did happen," she added after an exaggerated wink, "it would be very wonderful, Disney."


The Little Mermaid is also set to be remade into a live special on ABC in November, with Auli'i Cravalho taking on the role of Ariel. The cast also includes Queen Latifah, John Stamos, Graham Phillips and Shaggy. The special will air Tuesday, Nov. 5 on ABC.