Lin-Manuel Miranda refused to write new songs for Sebastian in ‘The Little Mermaid’

The Little Mermaid

Disney’s next high-profile live-action remake of one of its classic animated movies is The Little Mermaid. And it’s among the most challenging to do as the original 1989 film is such a classic, with its critical and commercial success single-handled reawakening the House of Mouse’s slumbering animation department and ushering in the famed Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. It’s likely Disney wouldn’t be in the rude health it is today without Ariel and her friends.

In fact, it turns out songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda’s love for the source material, combined with the pressure of perfecting perfection, resulted in him being unable to pen any new songs for his favorite character. While speaking to Collider about his directorial debut, Netflix’s tick, tick… BOOM!, and his work on Disney’s Encanto, Miranda also touched on Mermaid and revealed that he point-blank refused to create additional songs for Sebastian the Crab.

“Oh, man. So much of my work on The Little Mermaid was that wish fulfillment,” Miranda said. “I actually didn’t write any new songs for Sebastian the Crab because I love his songs so much. I was like, ‘I can’t. Nope, not me. I can’t do it.'”

Though we might not be getting any new numbers for Atlantica’s resident royal composer, who’ll be voiced by Daveed Diggs in the remake, Miranda did go on to promise that he and original songwriter Alan Menken did compose some fresh songs for other beloved characters, based on new moments in the story they saw musical potential in.

“I did get to write for some of the other characters in that movie,” he continued. “Every song you love in The Little Mermaid is still in The Little Mermaid, we just found some new moments to musicalize. That’s really tricky.”

From Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshal, The Little Mermaid is set to star Halle Bailey in her acting debut as the titular merwoman, with Jonah Hauer-King as love interest Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as Ariel’s father King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the Sea-Witch. Alongside Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay also provides the voice of Flounder with Awkwafina featuring as a gender-flipped Scuttle.

Despite the hype being high for this one, not to mention production wrapping up earlier this year, The Little Mermaid is still a ways away. It’s not set to swim into cinemas until May 26, 2023.