Disney have found their new Ariel.
It’s been announced this week that singer Halle Bailey – of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, who opened for Beyonce on her Formation World Tour – will be playing Ariel in the new live-action adaptation of 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid.
According to Variety, director Rob Marshall has spent the last two months meeting with talent auditioning for the role, but insiders say 19-year-old Halle has been a ‘clear front runner’ from the very start.
“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,” Rob said.
Hallee joins a cast that so far includes Jacob Tremblay (Room, Wonder) and Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8, Crazy Rich Asians). According to reports, Melissa McCarthy (The Heat, Bridesmaids) is in talks to play sea witch Ursula.
Disney have confirmed that the new movie will feature beloved songs from the original animated classic, as well as new songs by Disney staple Alan Menken (music) and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (lyrics).
Halle took to Twitter to celebrate the moment, calling it a “dream come true”.
dream come true… 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
Production on The Little Mermaid is expected to begin in early 2020, so don’t expect this one to hit your local cinema screen for a while.