Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of 1989 animation The Little Mermaid has found its star: Halle Bailey has been cast in the lead role of Ariel, the young mermaid who trades her tail for legs.
According to director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns), Bailey was cast in the role after an ‘extensive search’.
Bailey, who is 19 years old, is best known for her work with Grammy-nomiated R&B due Chloe x Halle, so she definitely has the singing chops for the part. The star also has a handful of acting experience: she appeared in 2006’s Last Holiday and has a recurring role in TV series Grown-ish.
She reacted to the news on the Chloe x Halle Twitter account, saying it was a ‘dream come true’.
dream come true… ????????♀️???? pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
This is the first time a Disney live-action remake has cast a person of colour in a lead role originally drawn as white, and we’re both surprised and delighted.
Bailey joins as cast made up of Jacob Tremlay (Room, Wonder) as Ariel’s fish friend Flounder, Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8, Crazy Rich Asians) as seagull Scuttle and Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids) as villain Ursula.
Disney’s original animated version of The Little Mermaid follows the story of Ariel, a red-headed mermaid who wishes to be human after falling in love with Prince Eric. She makes a deal with Ursula the sea witch, and trades her voice for legs so that she can live on the shore. The film is loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
The live-action remake, which doesn’t yet have a release date, is being directed by Rob Marshall from a script by Jane Goldman and David Magee.
For those who aren’t familiar with Bailey’s dulcet tones, check out Chloe x Halle’s Grammy performance:
Now imagine that voice singing ‘Part Of Your World’.
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