Disney fans around the world were delighted when the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid hit theaters, starring Halle Bailey as Ariel. Now, anticipation is growing as rumors swirl about the possibility of a live-action version of The Little Mermaid 2. While nothing is confirmed/greenlit, and the box office really didnt help Disney’s case on making a sequel we take a look at how it can happen.
The original The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, released as a direct-to-video sequel in 2000, introduced audiences to Ariel and Prince Eric’s daughter, Melody. The film explored Melody’s fascination with the ocean and her desire to discover her mermaid heritage. Given Disney’s recent successes with live-action adaptations of animated classics, it’s not surprising that fans are eager to see a live-action take on this enchanting tale.
So, how can Disney realistically make The Little Mermaid 2 a reality?
The Little Mermaid on Disney+
The release of a live-action adaptation of a beloved animated classic can generate significant buzz and engagement among Disney fans. If the live-action version of The Little Mermaid performs well in terms of viewership and generates positive reviews, it can indicate a strong audience interest in the franchise. Disney can use data analytics and audience feedback from the release of the live-action adaptation to assess the level of interest and demand for a sequel. The financial success of the live-action adaptation, both in terms of streaming revenue and even merchandise sales, can provide Disney with the financial resources and confidence needed to invest in the production of a sequel. the release of a live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” on Disney+ can serve as a strategic move to assess and build interest in a potential sequel. If the live-action adaptation proves successful and generates enthusiasm among viewers, it could increase the likelihood of Disney moving forward with a sequel to further capitalize on the franchise.
Has Disney discussed the idea of a sequel?
While Disney has yet to greenlight a sequel, the cast and crew have discussed interest in doing one. Jonah Hauer-King discussed his interest alongside Bailey when talking about the animated sequel, “I would be up for doing it. I kind of would like to also be a merman, so, we can also somehow evolve that storyline, to go with her.” Back in 2021, a production grid was making the rounds, which means that Disney had a sequel in the cards, keep in mind this was long before The Little Mermaid would hit theaters, over a year later.
Director Rob Marshall also kept the idea open for further projects under the sea saying, “I know there have been the prequels and sequels to the animated film – like, the straight-to-video kind of things, you know? It’s a classic story that has a lot of characters and a lot of interesting stories. I do think it’s right for certain things. But you have to see how a movie plays, and how it does… I think there’s always opportunity to find stories within stories. That’s always a wonderful thing.”
I had heard that Disney was keen on making a sequel; However, more recently, I spoke to someone close to those who make these kind of decisions and they say Disney is no rush to develop a sequel and hope fans enjoy the project when it hits Disney+ and through various forms of merchandise. The source also cited, if Disney plans on developing a sequel, do not expect it to take inspiration from the animated sequel.
For now, Disney fans can keep their fingers crossed and continue to enjoy the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid, which hits Disney+ on September 6, while imagining the possibilities of a live-action The Little Mermaid 2. Disney has a proven track record of bringing beloved stories to life, so it’s safe to say that if they decide to venture under the sea once more, it will be a spectacle worth waiting for.