The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall says original Ariel Jodi Benson 'embraced' Halle Bailey’s casting

The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall discusses bringing back the original Ariel for the live action remake.

The Little Mermaid is in cinemas and IMAX from 26 May.

Video transcript

ROXY SIMONS: You also obviously bring back Jodie Benson for a lovely cameo of new and old Ariel. And--

ROB MARSHALL: She's an old friend of mine.

ROXY SIMONS: Oh, nice. I was wondering--

ROB MARSHALL: I've known her for a long time. In fact, I directed her in the late '80s, or early '90s, in a production of Chess, that toured in America. And so, we have this deep connection and have known her for a long time. And she's just-- she's very special.

And she embraced the casting of Ariel, with Halle, immediately, which is very moving to me too, because it's hers. And-- but she knows that there's room for other interpretations. Like a great opera or a great play, you can infuse it with so many different interpretations. And so, she's really special to me.

ROXY SIMONS: That moment was really great.

ROB MARSHALL: It's fun if she passes the fork, you know. So what you have is you have-- it's kind of-- we saw it. It was actually our-- already had been written. But we were looking for a place for Jodie. And we thought, wait, wait wait. She passes-- it's like almost passing the torch. It's quite lovely.