‘The Little Mermaid’ wants Kacey Musgrave to play Vanessa

Disney’s The Little Mermaid live-action is reportedly adding Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Kacey Musgrave in the role of Vanessa. Sources revealed the studio had a number of online meetings with Musgrave to discuss her inclusion in the highly-anticipated movie.

According to DisInsider, Disney wants Musgrave to play the woman that the villain Ursula transforms into. In The Little Mermaid animated movie, released in 1989, Ursula, disguised as Vanessa, appears at the end of the second act to stop Ariel from getting through to Prince Eric.

But the report also stated that Musgrave’s involvement in the film could be something else entirely. Musgrave’s people have not yet responded to the reports.

Who is Kasey Musgrave?

Musgrave is a country music star with hit songs like “Butterflies” and “Space Cowboy.” Her biggest influence is Alison Krauss, but she also loves John Prine, Lee Anne Womack, and Dolly Parton.

She started out as a contestant in Nashville Star in 2007 and won the Grammy Album of the Year award in 2019, among other recognitions.

The Little Mermaid release date and cast round-up

Disney has not announced a release date for The Little Mermaid live-action as of press time. The production originally had a start date around April, but because of the pandemic, Disney pushed the filming schedule in London until late summer.

The movie will star Halle Bailey as the mermaid Ariel who longs to become human. Melissa McCarthy is taking on the role of Ursula, the sea witch.

Also in the cast are Awkwafina (Scuttle), Jacob Tremblay (Flounder), Javier Barden (Triton), and Jonah Hauer-King (Prince Eric). One Directions star Harry Styles admitted that he was in talks to play the prince.

“I want to put music out and focus on that for a while,” Styles said. “But everyone involved in it was amazing, so I think it’s going to be great. I’ll enjoy watching it, I’m sure.”

The controversy even before filming

Bailey’s casting as the mermaid lead drew much controversy because of the color of her skin. The actress said, however, that she does not like to focus on the negative as she’s simply excited to become a part of a huge Disney film.

Jodi Benson, the voice actress of Ariel in the animated movie, said that it doesn’t matter if the lead star of the live-action film is African American.

“What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts,” Benson said. “I think the most important thing for a film is to be able to tell a story.”

The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall said in a statement that they picked Bailey because she has “all the intrinsic qualities” to play Ariel. Plus, she apparently has a glorious singing voice to match.


Image used courtesy of Andy Witchger / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

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