These Disney Princess Movies Are Being Shot Now!

The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of things on pause last year, including a number of film and television productions. Now that things are slowly returning to normal, Disney is heading back into their seemingly endless grind of sequels and remakes by resuming production on a lot of highly anticipated films that got delayed. Most of these are being shot overseas in Europe, whether due to the scenery, because they have more workable restrictions than Los Angeles or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it looks like the live-action Little Mermaid film starring Halle Bailey and the Enchanted sequel nearly 15 years in the making are finally underway.

Halle Bailey as ArielHalle Bailey film shoot for The Little Mermaid

"The Little Mermaid" is my favorite fairy tale, so I'm excited to see a new adaptation of it even though I know nothing will ever compare to the 1989 animated classic. Since this is a Disney remake and not just any adaptation of the fairy tale, many people were concerned about whether or not Ariel would have her iconic red hair. These leaked set photos from Just Jared reveal that her hair was given a natural-looking shade of red for the film. This adds a realistic feel but also takes away the whimsical fantasy of Ariel's fire engine-red locks that made her look like she was from another world. The leaked photos from the set in England appear to portray a scene that takes place shortly after Ursula transforms Ariel into a human while she is scrounging for clothes and transportation to find Eric. Instead of Scuttle lending her a ship sail to cover herself with, we see her hiding in the back of a wagon and wearing a burlap sack that would have likely been used to transport goods into Prince Eric's village.

Halle Bailey as Ariel hiding in the back of a wagonClose-up of Halle Bailey as Ariel in the wagon

Another set of leaked images from Just Jared reveals footage of Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric with Noma Dumezweni as Carlotta, will have a bigger role in this film than she did in the original. A lot of fans were hoping Jodi Benson would make a cameo in this role, but that will not be the case. However, considering how active she still is with the Disney fan community, there is a possibility she will show up somewhere else like Ming-Na Wen in the new Mulan. These images show an open-shirt Prince Eric wading in the water with Carlotta along with other people who likely work or live at his castle. One of them appears to be a princess. She looks similar to how I would picture a live-action Vanessa, but this scene seems to take place before she shows up. Since it has so much footage of Eric searching the water with his servants, it's possible that they added a new scene where he actively tries to find for the girl who rescued him before Ariel turns human and goes after him herself.

Prince Eric searches the ocean with CarlottaA princess or maid from Eric's court

Another Disney Princess movie that recently started shooting is Disenchanted, the long-awaited sequel to Enchanted that is due on Disney+ next year. The movie is summarized by CinemaBlend as follows: "Taking place 15 years after the events of the first Enchanted movie, Disenchanted sees Amy Adams’ Giselle, Patrick Dempsey’s Robert Phillip and Morgan Phillip, who’s now being played by Gabriella Baldacchino, moving to a new house in the Monroeville suburb. The community is overseen by Maya Rudolph’s Malvina Monroe, who has nefarious intentions for the family. Things start getting out of hand when Giselle wishes that their lives could be like the perfect fairytale, and when the spell backfires, she’ll have to race to save both Robert and Morgan, as well as Andalasia, before the clock strikes midnight."

Could this story suffer from a case of sequelitis? My main question here is if Giselle wanted her life to be the perfect fairy tale, why would she have left Andalasia in the first place? The whole point of the original film was that she realized she wanted something more even though she had the option to stay in the animated world and become a princess. The DisInsider has shared some photos of the film's set in Ireland (pictured above) that are largely reminiscent of Once Upon a Time's Storybrooke. With fairy tale-inspired storefronts such as "Bibidi Bobidi Butchers" and "A Whole Food World," it looks like Giselle's wish places her new hometown under a Storybrooke-like curse that she will likely have to unravel before the end of the movie. Director Adam Shankman recently posted about the ongoing filming on Instagram about what a pleasure it was to watch 75 dancers "rehearse their masked faces off." If nothing else, we can at least look forward to new Alan Menken songs.

Rachel Zegler as Maria in West Side Story

A live-action Disney Princess remake that has yet to begin shooting is Snow White, which has unfortunately been greenlit to replace Walt Disney's groundbreaking first feature-length animated movie of all time. Rachel Zegler, the star of another upcoming remake, West Side Story, has been cast as the titular Snow White, furthering Disney's diversity and inclusion agenda. She may not have skin as white as snow, but she can sing and has an innocent look that is reminiscent of the fair princess. While this decision hardly comes as a surprise, I am so numb to these soulless remakes that the news of another one on the horizon no longer excites me. You can look forward to the new The Little Mermaid and Disenchanted movies next year with the yet-to-be-shot Snow White likely arriving in 2023 or 2024.


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