“Little Mermaid” To Fix The ‘Eric’ Problem


Disney’s taste for producing live-action versions of their animated features shows no signs of abating with a new take on “The Little Mermaid” on the way next year.

Though much of the talk of the film has been about the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel, one person who has largely escaped the spotlight is her co-star Jonah Hauer-King who plays Ariel’s love interest and the film’s leading man Prince Eric.

Of course, Eric is hardly an Aladdin or Beast or Flynn Rider – the character is a rather bland prince archetype who is mainly there to serve the story and has little inner life beyond the goal of marrying Ariel in the movie.

Rob Marshall, who directs the film, recently spoke to EW and revealed that one big change the live-action film will have over its animated counterpart is to add a bunch of layers to the Eric character, offering a more distinct personaliry and making him something of a mirror of Ariel albeit on dry land:

“The role of Eric in the animated film – I’m sure the original creators would agree with this – it’s a wooden, classic prince character with not a lot going on.

There’s a whole story that’s developed in our film. He has a mother, a queen, that’s new to the film. He has a very similar trajectory in a way to Ariel. He doesn’t feel like it’s where he fits in, his world.

These two kindred spirits find each other and really teach the world about prejudice and about breaking down barriers and walls between these two worlds.”

The film also stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Flounder. The full trailer for “The Little Mermaid” is expected to arrive in the next few weeks ahead of the film’s theatrical release on May 26th.

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