Halle Bailey is going under the sea.
The 19-year-old singer, one half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Rob Marshall spent months scouting talent for the titular role, but insiders say Bailey has been a clear front runner from the 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.”
Marshall said in a statement, while the official Chloe x Halle account tweeted:
dream come true… 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
Bailey joins a cast that includes Jacob Tremblay (Flounder) and Awkwafina (Scuttle), while Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula.
The social media racists were on full display yesterday, after the announcement. While most of Twitter has been celebrating over the incredible news, some bitter fans of the fairytale movie have taken to the site to attempt to prove why the mythical creature, whose race plays no significance in her story, must be portrayed by a white actress. You can take a look here. Then two days ago, Freeform, a Disney network, tweeted an explanation addressed to the “poor unfortunate souls” who were upset about the casting choice detailing how a black Danish mermaid could, in fact, have red hair.
— Freeform (@FreeformTV) July 6, 2019
The Little Mermaid will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated movie, along with new music from original composer Alan Menken and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is also producing the film.
Bailey is a member of the Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle, who is signed to Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment label. She can currently be seen playing Sky Forster alongside her sister Chloe Bailey in Freeform’s Grown-ish.