The Disney wave of live-action remakes is far from over, and the latest to be announced is a highly-anticipated adaptation of The Little Mermaid. However, in a shocking and revolutionary move for Walt Disney Studios, the title role of Ariel will be played by African-American singer & actress Halle Bailey of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle.
The news was announced earlier today amidst that seriously annoying Instagram/Facebook widespread malfunction. Halle, who stars alongside older sister Chloe in the hit black-ish spinoff Grown-ish on Freeform, joins mentor Beyoncé in the Disney live-action kingdom — Bey plays Nala in the soon-to-be-released remake of The Lion King arriving in theaters on July 19. The 19-year-old chanteuse will be joined by Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, who are each currently in talks for roles either on the live-action side or lending their voice to a CGI character according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Little Mermaid will be directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), who confirmed the news in a statement by saying, “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.” Production is slated to begin in early 2020, with longtime music conductor for Disney movies Alan Menken teaming up with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the music. Marc Platt (Aladdin) will produce alongside Miranda and John DeLuca.
Congratulations on landing the role as Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid‘ remake, Halle! Now, who do you think should play Flounder, Sebastian, King Triton and most importantly the evil sea witch Ursula? Sound off over on our Facebook and Twitter!