Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’ Casts ‘Grown-ish’ Star Halle Bailey as Ariel

The R&B singer Halle Bailey is set to play Ariel, the teen mermaid in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ Ariel is the rebellious daughter of the mighty King Triton who challenges her father’s wish by following her heart. Bailey is known for her R&B band ‘Chloe x Halle’ she founded along with her sister Chloe Bailey in 2013. Earlier this month, Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina were in talks with Disney to join the cast.

‘The Little Mermaid’ director Rob Marshall reportedly auditioned an exhaustive number of new talents before tapping Bailer for the lead role.

“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 is quoted as saying by Variety.

David Magee (‘Mary Poppins Returns’) wrote the script for the reboot from a previous draft written by Jane Goldman. John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda produce the film while Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman will oversee the production for Disney.

The forthcoming film will also feature original songs from 1989 animated classic which earned Best Original Song and Score Oscars for composer Alan Menken. Tracks like ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘Part of Your World’ and ‘Kiss the Girl’ played a crucial role in the success of the movie in the ‘80s. The veteran joins hands with songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is best known for ‘Hamilton,’ to create songs for the reboot.

The 1989 animated original follows the mermaid Princess Ariel who falls head over heels for a human Prince. She wants to live on dry land with him and seeks help from the sea witch Ursula (McCarthy) to replace her wings with a pair of legs. But the witch demands her soulful voice in return.

Bailey shot to fame with her ‘Chloe x Halle’ YouTube videos before signing a career-defining deal with Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment label. She played a supporting role of Skylar Forster in Freeform’s sitcom series ‘Grown-ish,’ alongside her sister Chloe Bailey who portrayed the character, Jazlyn Forster. The Forster siblings appear as two smart and chirpy track athletes in the popular series which is a spin-off of Freeform’s hit sitcom ‘Black-ish.’

‘The Little Mermaid’ reboot is expected to start rolling production in 2020. The ‘Chloe x Halle’ official Twitter account celebrated the casting with a photo of the teen mermaid captioned “dream come true…” Check out the ‘Chloe x Halle’ tweet below.


Cover Image Courtesy: Freeform.