Chloe Moretz Isn't Playing Ariel In 'The Little Mermaid' & That Might Actually Be A Good Thing — VIDEO
There's a difference between knowing that a film will be based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and knowing that a film will be based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. When Chloe Moretz was cast in The Little Mermaid, I know I wasn't alone in skipping over that little detail entirely to focus on listening to the soundtrack of the Disney movie all over again and coming up with ways that Moretz could star in a remake of that film that was more feminist than the original. The Little Mermaid is one of those movies that was actually very feminist at the time, but that doesn't age well into the modern day, but Moretz is known for her strong, feminist, and frequently antiheroine characters. However, there's one more thing she's going to be known for: Moretz isn't playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She won't even be a redhead. Those were all inventions of the Disney movie. And, honestly, that might be a good thing.
At least we get our wish in another sense. When asked by Entertainment Tonight, Moretz made it clear that the version of The Little Mermaid that she would be starring in is definitely more feminist than what audiences are used to. It's "a modern, revisionist tale" that will be "progressive for young women in this day and age," so there's a good chance that not-Ariel won't be giving up her family and voice and entire world for what seems to modern audience to be just to gain the love of a man that she's never even spoken to. (And, indeed, doesn't speak to until she's already failed.) Moretz didn't give us any details about exactly how the tale will be modernized and progressive, but I trust the woman who gave us a live-action version of Hit-Girl to give us a little mermaid that we can all look up to without divisive arguments about the character.
The fact that Moretz's mermaid won't be Ariel from The Little Mermaid, red hair or no red hair, is actually a very good thing. As already noted, the legacy of the Disney movie is already overshadowing this live action remake, to the point that it comes as more of a surprise that Moretz won't be playing Ariel than that Moretz will be starring in a feminist take of the original fairy tale. Despite the controversy surrounding the Disney movie, it still remains one of the most beloved films in Disney canon, and definitely one of the most iconic. Trying to live up to that legacy is a tall order, and it's better that the live-action remake wants to stand on its own merits in comparison to nothing but the original source material. It gives them a lot more breathing room, and puts a lot less pressure on them to incorporate little mods to Disney canon.
In addition, it gives Moretz more room to grow into her character, and build a little mermaid that is uniquely her own. She doesn't have to live up to the personality traits that Ariel embodied. Maybe she's hotblooded instead of spirited. Maybe she's judgmental and bratty at first instead of longing and open-minded. Maybe she's the one person in her family who can't sing. Hell, maybe her mom is still alive. Taking these kind of strides to differentiate the live-action film from the most well-known adaptation of the fairy tale will help audiences come out to see the film not because they really liked (or really hated) the Disney movie, but because they want a new take on the story to show to their daughters and sons as they grow up.
A mermaid who isn't a red-head will take some getting used to for Disney raised audiences, but, if anyone can pull it off, it's definitely Moretz.
Image: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy