Disney announced a race-swapped version of Ariel for their upcoming “live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid.
Actress Halle Bailey was announced to star in The Little Mermaid from director Rob Marshall.
Marshall commented on casting Bailey:
“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.”
According to Variety, Bailey has never starred in a feature film before. However, IMDB credits her as Tina in Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. She does star in the Freeform series Grown-ish, which is a spin-off of the ABC comedy series Black-ish. Both Freeform and ABC are owned by Disney.
Bailey is also a founding member of the R&B group Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe. She also wrote the song “Warrior” and performed it for Disney’s box office failure in “A Wrinkle in Time.”
The duo were discovered by Beyoncé and even opened for her on her “Lemonade” tour. Beyoncé will star in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King as Nala.
The Little Mermaid will feature a number of the original songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman from the classic animated series including “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World,” and “Kiss the Girl.” It will also feature new songs by Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Little Mermaid will be produced by Marshall, Miranda, John DeLuca, and Marc Platt. The film is expected to go into production sometime in 2020.
Rumors indicate the film will also include Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle. There are also reports that comedian Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play the villain, Ursula.
What do you make of this casting news by Disney?