BY Keenan Higgins, The Source
The Disney wave of live-action remakes is far from over, and the latest to be announced is a highly-anticipated adaptation of The Little Mermaid. However, in a shocking and revolutionary move for Walt Disney Studios, the title role of Ariel will be played by African-American singer & actress Halle Bailey of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle.
The news was announced recently amidst that seriously annoying Instagram/Facebook widespread malfunction. Halle, who stars alongside older sister Chloe in the hit black-ish spinoff Grown-ish on Freeform, joins mentor Beyoncé in the Disney live-action kingdom — Bey plays Nala in the soon-to-be-released remake of The Lion King arriving in theaters on July 19. The 19-year-old chanteuse will be joined by Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, who are each currently in talks for roles either on the live-action side or lending their voice to a CGI character according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Little Mermaid will be directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), who confirmed the news in a statement by saying, “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.” Production is slated to begin in early 2020, with longtime music conductor for Disney movies Alan Menken teaming up with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the music. Marc Platt (Aladdin) will produce alongside Miranda and John DeLuca.
This article originally appeared in The Source.