Rob Marshall explains why they cut Javier Bardem’s song:
“Well, he’s an amazing singer, and he does it with such emotion. It was a very powerful song about Ariel herself and about frustration. But the interesting thing is, we didn’t cut it for the moment. That’s mostly because it was stolen from the end. You never know when you’re creating something new. The movie tells you when you’re working on it.
“We had so many new parts, so many new songs and sequences that we brought it here as a completely live act. […] The moment he actually hugs her and listens to her, maybe for the first time, you have to keep that conflict. So that’s what led to it. It was history.”
John DeLuca added that the song “took some of the air out of his character and the conflict he and Eric had.” Triton wants to prevent his daughter from suffering the same fate as her mother; Killed by someone – like Eric – lives on the ground. In the movie, Triton is trying to control his young daughter. At the beginning of the story, he reveals that he did this because he loves Ariel deeply and wants to protect her.
“The Little Mermaid” premieres in theaters on May 26, 2023.