Lin-Manual Miranda, star and songwriter of the Broadway blockbuster, Hamilton, has signed on to join Alan Menken for Disney’s next live-action adaptation. According to Deadline, Miranda and Menken will write new music for a live action version of The Little Mermaid while still incorporating the original music from the 1989 animated classic.
Although details are thin regarding just how involved Lin-Manuel will be involved in this new project, what is known is that he will not be writing the script, but will supervise the story and will produce the film with Marc Platt who is currently working on the film adaptation of the musical Wicked for Universal.
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Lin-Manual Miranda, who won 11 Tony Awards for Hamilton, is a huge fan of The Little Mermaid. He even named his son Sebastian after the crab featured in the cartoon, but this isn’t his first job with Disney. In addition to this new project, Miranda was heavily involved with Disney’s upcoming animated film, Moana writing all of that film’s music. Moana comes to theaters in November. Lin-Manual also made headlines earlier this year with news that he was joining the cast of Disney’s sequel to Mary Poppins which he will be starring opposite Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Ben Whishaw.
In Mary Poppins Returns, which is expected to arrive in theaters on December 25, 2018, Miranda plays Jack, a street lamplighter. The film features a screenplay by David Magee (based on the original stories of P.L. Travers) and a score from Marc Shaiman.
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Miranda even wrote the cantina music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens says Vanity Fair. “According to director J.J. Abrams, he and Miranda met one night at Hamilton. Miranda told Abrams, ‘If you need music for the cantina, I’ll write it’; the rest is history,” says writer Yohana Desta. “If only life were always so simple. While they’re at it, it’s safe to imagine Disney probably has a few more projects lined up for Miranda. Wouldn’t you do the same if you had a Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony Award–record-breaking, MacArthur-grant–winning genius at your disposal?”
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There must be something in the water as this isn’t the only mermaid project being worked on. Universal and Working Title are also working on their own live-action version of The Little Mermaid that will star Chloe Grace Moretz. That film will be directed by Rebecca Thomas with a script written by Richard Curtis. Meanwhile, Disney also announced a new gender-swapped remake of the Touchstone hit film, Splash. The original film starred Tom Hanks falling in love with a mermaid played by Daryl Hannah. The new Splash will feature Channing Tatum as a merman with Jillian Bell playing the Tom Hank’s role.
Lin-Manual Miranda’s involvement with The Little Mermaid is just the next animated cartoon-turned live action remake for Disney following Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the sequel and yet box office disappointment, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book. Both Maleficent and The Jungle Book are expected to receive sequels. Other Disney favorites currently in production or just under consideration include Beauty and the Beast, Cruella, Tinkerbell, and Dumbo. Although only partially an animated film, Pete’s Dragon also got a reboot this month and is receiving exceptional good reviews.
[Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images]