In reportedly agreeing to play King Triton in Disney’s forthcoming live-action CGI remake of The Little Mermaid, Javier Bardem is merely playing his cards like an adult. This is the world in which we live, and paycheck roles in tentpole films (digital Disney remakes, Marvel and Star Wars franchise flicks) is where the money is. Not to mention “the artistic thrills”, to quote Rosemary’s Baby protagonist Guy Woodhouse (John Cassevetes).
The only headscratcher is that Ariel is being played by Halle Bailey, which would suggest that Triton, her dad, should be played by an actor in the realm of Samuel L. Jackson, Cuba Gooding or Jeffrey Wright…right? Perhaps the actress cast as the late Queen Athena will complete the portrait.
The Bardem casting was reported Wednesday by Deadline‘s Amanda N’Duka. Rob Marshall is directing the CG feature from a script by David Magee. Harry Styles is reportedly in talks for the role of Prince Eric. Previously announced cast includes Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.
In William Wyler‘s Ben-Hur, Pontius Pilate (Frank Thring) attempts to explain to Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) the way of the world as defined by Rome. If Pilate were to comment on the Bardem casting, he would put it thusly:
“Where there is greatness, great government or power, even great feeling or compassion, error also is great. We progress and mature by fault. Disney has stated time and again it is endeavoring to shape our cultural life in a great cinematic future. Perfect freedom has no existence. A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is Disney. Javier Bardem has simply chosen to cash a fat check rather than fight.”