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Disney finds its Ariel for The Little Mermaid remake in R&B singer Halle Bailey

She’s now part of the Little Mermaid world

a young black woman, Halle Bailey, sings into a microphone Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

The live-action version of The Little Mermaid is well on its way. Disney announced Wednesday that it has cast Halle Bailey, an R&B singer in the group Chloe x Halle, as Ariel. The movie is directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), with new music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken.

“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 news release.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Jacob Tremblay (Room) would be playing Ariel’s fishy friend Flounder, with Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) as quirky seagull Scuttle, with rumors that Melissa McCarthy was in talks to play the sea witch Ursula.

Based on the 1989 film that kickstarted the Disney Renaissance, The Little Mermaid is yet another live-action reimagining of a Disney animated classic. The Lion King is set to come out later this month, followed by Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in October and Mulan in 2020. Production on The Little Mermaid is set to begin in early 2020.

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