Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid has found its Ariel, as Disney has announced Halle Bailey has officially been cast in the role. Hailey is perhaps best known as one half of the hip hop duo Chloe x Halle and has since ventured into acting, most recently appearing on the TV series Grown-ish. Directed by Rob Marshall, the movie is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, Marc Platt, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The reimagining of the fairy tale will feature a blend of the original songs from the animated movie by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Menken (music) and Miranda (lyrics).
Further confirming the Halle Bailey casting, Marshall elaborated on the choice to explain the decision. "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," the director says of Bailey. Additionally, more announcements regarding The Little Mermaid are expected to arrive in the coming weeks, which will likely include more casting choices for the various other characters in the movie. The biggest question most fans probably are wondering right now is just who will become Bailey's Prince Eric?
Just days ago, Melissa McCarthy made headlines when reports surfaced the actress is in talks to play the sea witch Ursula in the upcoming movie as well. Although she has yet to officially sign on, there has been a lot of fan support in response to the news. Still, her name isn't the only one in the running to play the movie's villain. Rapper and singer Lizzo has started her own social media campaign to land the part, insisting she's the perfect choice for Ursula. Despite her ambitions, however, it doesn't appear Lizzo has actually spoken with Disney about her potential casting at this time, and McCarthy seems much more likely to be cast.
Other names have been reported to potentially be a part of the cast as well. Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) are being eyed to portray new versions of Flounder and Scuttle, respectively. Like McCarthy, however, neither name has officially signed on at this point, as only Bailey's casting has been made official. For now, fans can speculate as to whether any of these names would be right for their considered roles, as well as which other Hollywood names might be appearing in The Little Mermaid when the new version is finally released.
Before Bailey's casting, other names had been rumored for the part of Ariel. Jane Levy (Don't Breathe) and Zendaya Coleman (Spider-Man: Far from Home) were both reportedly considered for the part, and Lindsay Lohan had been publicly campaigning for it as well. Ultimately, we will see how well it all works out when the movie is released. More than likely, the movie will turn out to be a big hit like rhw live-action Disney remakes before it. Production on The Little Mermaid is set to begin in early 2020. This information comes to us from Walt Disney Studios.