Disney has found its Ariel for its live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” Actress and singer Halle Bailey will star in Rob Marshall’s film as the lead Ariel, the studio announced Wednesday.
Bailey is one half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle and has also starred in episodes of “Grown-ish.” She’ll also star opposite Melissa McCarthy, who is in talks to play the sea witch Ursula. Most people would know Halle from the time she and her sister Chloe sang “America the Beautiful” at this year’s Super Bowl.
“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” Marshall said in a statement.
Bailey called her casting a “dream come true” via the Chloe x Halle Twitter account along with a rendition of what a black Ariel might look like in the original animated film.
Marshall is directing, and the film is produced by John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. David Magee (“Mary Poppins Returns”) wrote the script.
“The Little Mermaid” live-action remake will feature the 1989 animated classic’s original songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Miranda.
Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020. Additional announcements regarding “The Little Mermaid” are expected in the coming weeks.
The original “The Little Mermaid” follows princess Ariel, a teenage mermaid who dreams of living on the surface world and marrying Prince Eric. Her fortunes change when a sea witch named Ursula offers to send Ariel to the human world in exchange for her beautiful voice. It won two Oscars for Disney for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for the track “Under the Sea.”
Bailey started recording music as the contemporary R&B duo Chloe x Halle in 2015 on YouTube and even caught the attention of Beyonce. They then released their debut in EP in 2016 and have since appeared on the soundtrack for Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Bailey is repped by CAA.
dream come true… ????????♀️???? pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019