Singer and actress Halle Bailey, one half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, has been cast as the little mermaid Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of the beloved animated musical fantasy movie The Little Mermaid (1989), based on the fairy tale by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.
Walt Disney Studios announced the decision to cast Halle as the mermaid Ariel on Wednesday, explaining that the decision was made after a long search.
“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,” said director Rob Marshall, who is directing the movie.
The news comes following previous reports that Jacob Tremblay (The Smurfs 2), Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), and Melissa McCarthy were in talks for the roles of Flounder, Scuttle and Ursula respectively.
Following the announcement of the casting, Bailey expressed her joy through the official Chloe x Halle Twitter account.
dream come true… 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
Hundreds of fans and stars, including Zendaya, who played MJ in Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), also took to Twitter to express their delight and to congratulate Halle.
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 3, 2019
I am so proud of @Disney @telseyandco @DisneyStudios @RobertIger @AIMenken #robmarshall for this EXCEPTIONAL CASTING of Ariel!!! The world NEEDS THIS! CONGRATS HALLE!!! @chloexhalle https://t.co/EmEwsXjVKv
— JelaniAlladin (@JelaniAlladin) July 3, 2019
Halle Bailey, a Black teens who wears locs, being cast as a Disney princess is what dreams are made of. Imagine what just seeing her onscreen will do for this generation of Black girls.
— Evette Dionne (@freeblackgirl) July 3, 2019
I look forward to taking my daughter to see Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live action version of Little Mermaid. She'll be ecstatic seeing another girl of color as a Disney princess. I will have to tolerate the songs, but…worth it.
— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) July 3, 2019
R-REALLY….????? oh my god… i'm seriously gonna cry this is so so soooo cool the little mermaid was always one of my top top favs and this is just… AMAZING… BLACK ARIEL!!!! YAAAY I'M SO HAPPY!!! EEEEEEEE https://t.co/51wFk9yNTJ
— 🍥Biji (@heybiji) July 3, 2019
This girl can 100% be Ariel, and if y’all are mad about it….
— Quintin Quarantino (@DCisChillin) July 3, 2019
The Little Mermaid (1989) followed Ariel, a mermaid princess from the underwater Kingdom of Atlantica, who fell in love with the human Prince Eric and wanted to become human.
Jodi Benson voiced the beloved heroine Ariel in the Disney animated film alongside Christopher Daniel Barnes as Prince Eric.
The Little Mermaid (1989) received multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. It won two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Song and the other for Best Original Score.
The movie will feature songs from 1989 original animated movie — such as Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl — written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. The upcoming movie, expected to go into production in early 2020, will also feature songs created by the team of Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Who is Halle Bailey?
Halle Bailey was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 27, 2000, while her sister Chloe was born on July 1, 1998, but they grew up in Los Angeles, California.
The music career of Halle and Chloe began on YouTube, where they posted videos of themselves doing covers of songs by top artists, including Beyonce. They signed to Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment and released their debut EP, titled Sugar Symphony, in April 2016.
Chloe x Halle released their first free mixtape, The Two of US, in March 2017, and their debut studio album, The Kids Are Alright, in March 2018. The album features Warrior from the soundtrack of A Wrinkle in Time (2018) and Grown, a track recorded by the Chloe and Halle that is the theme for the comedy Grown-ish (2018-).
Chloe and Halle Bailey play Jazlyn and Skylar Forster respectively in Grown-ish. They appeared in recurring roles in the first three episodes but were later promoted to series regulars. Halle also played Tiffany in House of Payne (2007).