‘Little Mermaid’: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt Attend Private Screening

The excitement and buzz continues to build for “The Little Mermaid.”

A source tells me that director Rob Marshall and husband, producer John DeLuca, hosted a private screening of Disney’s live adaptation of the 1989 animated classic on Sunday night at New York’s Whitby Hotel.

The guest list of about 80 people included Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, Matt Damon and his family, Emily Mortimer, Ben Platt and his “Parade” co-star Micaela Diamond, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Bob Balaban and Lynn Grossman, Diane and Brian Sutherland, and Scott Ellis. The film’s composer Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-wrote three new songs for the movie, were also there.

I’m told the star-studded audience applauded after each musical number and continued to rave during a post-screening reception. Marshall joked that the evening’s torrential downpour was fitting because it felt like they were truly “under the sea.”

I caught up with star Halle Bailey at the Met Gala on Monday night. “I’m so excited,” she said about the soon-to-be-released film. “I’m a little anxious because it’s been a long time coming.”

Disney previewed a scene from the movie during its CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas late last month. It was the first time audiences got a glimpse of Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, who in the clip sang a show-stopping rendition of the character’s signature number, “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”

“I definitely think it’s going to be different because you can see a modern take on our world, and you can see a reflection of the world that we live in today,” Bailey said at the Met Gala. “This world that we live in is a beautiful melting pot of diversity.”

Hailey played coy when asked if she is signed for more “Little Mermaid” movies. She smiled, “Oh, I don’t know.”

Along with Bailey and McCarthy, the cast includes Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian. 

“The Little Mermaid” will swim to theaters on May 26.

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