Is Awkwafina the latest to join “The Little Mermaid”?
The 31-year-old “The Farewell” star was asked this very same question when she dropped by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, where she was touting her new animated film, “Raya and the Last Dragon”.
Rumoured to be playing the role of Scuttle in Disney’s anticipated live-action adaptation of the 1989 classic, Awkwafina played coy about her involvement in the upcoming “Little Mermaid” adaptation, which will star Halle Bailey as Ariel.
“Aww man, that all isn’t confirmed yet, but obviously if it happens, I would be more than honoured,” Awkwafina said, dancing around the question when asked about the speculation surrounding the movie, seemingly implying that there may be truth to the rumour. “It’s a classic, yeah. I’m very, very happy. That’s my princess right there, so I’m very happy with what they have [announced] so far.”
In July, reports surfaced that the “Crazy Rich Asians” breakout was slated to play Scuttle, the talking seagull from the animated film, originally voiced by Buddy Hackett. Since then, no castings have been officially confirmed outside of Bailey, one-half of R&B duo Chloe x Halle, as the titular Disney princess.
Former One Direction member Harry Styles reportedly turned down the role of Prince Eric, while Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem are in talks to join as Ursula and King Triton, respectively. Jacob Tremblay is also rumoured to be part of the cast as Flounder.
Original “Little Mermaid” composer Alan Menken will return to rework the songs from the 1989 film, alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda. The duo is also expected to write new songs for the upcoming movie, to be directed by Rob Marshall.
On Saturday, Awkwafina shared a little more insight into the new Disney movie she was at D23 to promote.
“Raya and the Last Dragon”, set for a Thanksgiving 2020 release, is set in Kumandra, a reimagined Earth created by dragons. But the world is in peril and a lone warrior, Raya (Cassie Steele), sets out on a quest to track down what is believed to be the last remaining dragon and bring light back to the world. Awkwafina voices the dragon Sisu, a beast with a green born, white mane and pink fins; her adult form comes as an elderly woman.
“We’ve known about this for a while and we’ve been keeping this a secret. It takes place on a world that are based on real places and real themes, but it’s mostly mythical,” Awkwafina said, with Steele speaking a little bit more to her titular heroine: “Raya starts out as a lone warrior as a lone warrior who’s trying to save the world and puts that weight on her shoulders, but she needs the dragon and it turns into this amazing beautiful sisterhood and a sense of community.”
“We met for the first time today. I saw the preview for the first time today and it blew me away,” Awkwafina added. “To be here a part of Disney is just amazing.”
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