By Marc Snetiker
July 03, 2019 at 03:48 PM EDT

Halle Bailey has been cast as accomplished swimmer/princess Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action tentpole remake of The Little Mermaid, which is slated to begin production in 2020.

The 19-year-old singer and actress, who stars on Freeform’s grown-ish, is best known as one half (guess which one) of Chloe x Halle, the R&B duo act she shares with her younger sister Chloe. The pair are also frequently referred to in the music sphere as “Beyoncé’s proteges,” having caught Beyoncé’s attention — and a record deal — after their YouTube cover of “Pretty Hurts” went viral in 2013; they’ve since opened for Bey and Jay-Z’s On The Road II tour.

Director Rob Marshall, who will helm The Little Mermaid as his first project after Mary Poppins Returns, said of the casting: “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.” On the topic of Mermaid itself, Marshall told EW in December, “It’s about a woman finding her voice — a girl finding her voice, actually — and that immediately just felt like an interesting, timely piece that resonated with us.”

Lester Cohen/Getty Images; Everett Collection

In signing the parchment, Bailey now leads an already-stacked cast that is rumored to include Melissa McCarthy as sea witch Ursula, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

As with most recent films on Disney’s slate of live-action remakes, the new Mermaid will include the game-changing 1989 animated film’s original classic songs from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new tunes written by Menken with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda (who is such a fan of the original film that he named his own son Sebastian). The film will be produced by Miranda and the continued musical wonder-team of Marshall, John DeLuca, and Marc Platt.

Related content: 

Advertisement

Comments

EDIT POST