‘The Little Mermaid’: Halle Bailey Cast as Ariel in Disney’s Live-Action Remake

Disney has cast the lead actress in their upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Set to play Ariel is 19-year-old Halle Bailey, who may be best known as one half of R&B duo Chloe X Halle; Chloe is her older sister. It’s quite the get for Bailey, who was signed with her sister to Beyoncé’s label Parkwood Entertainment after gathering attention for her YouTube cover of the singer’s track “Pretty Hurts.” Her previous acting credits include sitcom Grown-ish and Queen Latifah comedy Last Holiday.

“Dream come true,” Bailey posted on Twitter:

Directing the new Little Mermaid is Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rob Marshall, who broke out with Best Picture-winning Chicago and has since helmed Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine, Into the Woods and last year’s Mary Poppins Returns.

“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.

It’s all coming together for the long-gestating project. In talks to join the film as villain Ursula is Melissa McCarthy, with Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in talks to voice Flounder and Scuttle, respectively.

Musical genius Alan Menken, who won Oscars for the original animated film’s music, will be returning here. He’s teaming up with none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Mary Poppins Returns, Moana) to craft the new movie’s songs. Miranda is also rumoured to be playing Sebastian, although that hasn’t been confirmed.

Production on the film is being planned for early 2020. Stay tuned for more as this all comes together.

In the meantime, take a look at Halle Bailey showcasing her vocal talents singing “Unforgettable”…

Image: Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures


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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.