- Disney have announced that the role of Ariel in the live action remake of The Little Mermaid will be taken by Halle Bailey.
- Halle is already well known as a singer, performing alongside her older sister in their group, Chloe x Halle.
- Director Rob Marshall said that the young actress has Ariel’s “spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance—plus a glorious singing voice.”
The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake—unless you happen to be Halle Bailey right now. Disney has confirmed in an official statement that the 19-year-old singer has landed the role of Ariel in the highly anticipated live action remake of the The Little Mermaid, and singing crabs everywhere are shaking.
Here’s everything we know so far about Disney’s upcoming plans to head under the sea—this time IRL.
Who will play Ariel?
On Wednesday, social media suddenly exploded when it was announced that Halle Bailey, one half of R&B duo Chloe x Halle, had landed the part of Ariel. And no, that's not Halle Berry.
In a statement regarding the decision, director Rob Marshall said: “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.”
She’s set to be a part of your world very soon, but if you’re not already familiar with Halle, here’s what you need to know. She already shares a successful singing career with her older sister Chloe, and the pair have been mentored by Beyoncé since their cover of “Pretty Hurts” blew up online in 2015. They even opened for Bey during the European leg of her 2016 Lemonade tour, and again in 2018 for the On The Run II tour. Ursula could never.
Who will star in the remake alongside Halle?
As for the rest of the cast, official decisions remain under wraps. According to rumors (and to mixed reactions), Melissa McCarthy is the main contender to take on the iconic role of Ursula, but she may face some fierce competition from Lizzo. The 'Juice' singer has been personally campaigning online for months now to make sure that she lands her dream part as the fabulous villain. Popular drag queens are also high on dream cast lists created by fans online.
Meanwhile it’s been previously reported by Variety that Jacob Tremblay has been signed on as Ariel’s fishy friend Flounder, while Awkwafina will take on Scuttle the seagull.
Who is behind the music and songs?
Don’t panic—your favorite tunes like 'Part of Your World', 'Under the Sea', 'Kiss The Girl', and 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' will almost certainly still feature in the live action remake, but they may have had a little 2020 makeover. Variety reports that The Little Mermaid will incorporate the originals alongside some new music, courtesy of Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda, and OG composer Alan Menken.
When will the movie be released?
There’s still no real news about when we can expect The Little Mermaid to hit cinemas, and Disney is currently still focused on the upcoming release of other live action films like The Lion King and Mulan. However, now that casting decisions are finally being formally announced, it’s safe to assume that we’re getting closer.
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