Singer-actress Halle Bailey will be part of Disney’s world.
Bailey, part of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, has nabbed the starring role in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and will play the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land.
Mermaid is casting up, with Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in talks to star and lend their voices to other live-action and CG parts.
Rob Marshall is set to direct, after helming the studio’s sequel to Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns.
“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 Marshall in a statement, reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
An early 2020 production start is being planned.
Ron Clements and John Musker were behind the 1989 original, which won best original song and score for Alan Menken. For the new iteration of the fairytale, Menken will team with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the music.
Marc Platt, who worked with Marshall on Mary Poppins and exec produced Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin remake, is producing, Marshall and John DeLuca are also producer Mermaid as is Miranda.
Bailey is best known as one-half of the sister R&B duo Chloe x Halle, who signed to Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment label after gaining popularity with YouTube covers. The Little Mermaid would be a break-out role for Bailey, whose only other screen credit is as a supporting player on Freeform’s Yara Shahidi series Grown-ish.
She is repped by CAA.