Things have been moving along swimmingly for the casting of director Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid. The new telling is the latest Disney film to get a live-action treatment.
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Can You Ever Forgive Me), Jacob Tremblay (Room, The Predator), and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell) are in talks to play Ursula, Flounder, and Scuttle, respectively. And now the most important character of all has been cast.
Disney has confirmed that Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the new live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. More on this below.
Of the casting, Marshall said:
“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.”
Bailey is a part of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle.
Variety adds that David Magee (Mary Poppins Returns) wrote the script with Jane Goldman writing a previous draft. Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing for the studio.
The 1989 animated film of the same name follows a young rebellious teenage mermaid princess who falls in love with a surface dweller and has dreams of walking amongst them.
And like the original, this new telling will feature new and original songs from original composer Alan Menken. He will be collaborating with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is also producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt, and John DeLuca. Miranda proclaims himself to be a big fan of the film going as far as naming his son Sebastian.
The film will mark the feature debut of Bailey, who rose to stardom alongside her sister Chloe after they launched Chloe x Halle on YouTube. Known for singing covers of Beyoncé, the two were eventually discovered by the singing sensation and her record label. Soon after the pair signed a contract with Parkwood Entertainment and has opened for Beyoncé on her “Lemonade” tour.
Disney continues pushing releases of live-action adaptations of their animated classics. This year alone will see four films Dumbo and Aladdin have already hit theaters, the former being a modest hit, while the latter was a huge surprise. Next up will be The Lion King starring Donald Glover and Beyonce, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil starring Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer. Upcoming films include Mulan, Pinocchio, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Cruella. All films are in various stages of development or production.
Production on The Little Mermaid is expected to begin sometime in early 2020.