Disney’s live-action ‘Little Mermaid’ will star Halle Bailey as Ariel

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

If you weren’t aware, Disney is making a live-action “The Little Mermaid.” The big news? The studio finally cast someone to play the part of Ariel — 19-year-old Halle Bailey, who has the voice of the most gorgeous angel.

Bailey is one half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle. As an actress, she might be best known for her role of Jazz Forster on the ABC show “Grown-ish,” a spinoff of the popular series “Black-ish.”

Way before she started on “Grown-ish,” however, Halle and her big sister Chloe started a YouTube channel where they covered songs from artists like Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé. They’ve racked up more than one million subscribers since launching their channel in 2006.

In fact, the duo became so popular that they attracted the attention of Beyoncé herself, who signed them to her label. So, like, no big deal — not impressive at all.

Though it may seem like a surprising pick to those who aren’t aware of Halle’s talents, she’s no stranger to the industry.

halle bailey photo
Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy

“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,” director Rob Marshall said in a statement.

In addition to Bailey, there’s a whole star-studded cast already in place. Word on the street is that powerhouse comedian Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula, the sea witch who takes Ariel’s voice in return for giving her the mermaid legs she can use to walk on land and attract the prince.

melissa mccarthy photo
Getty Images | Rich Polk

The lovably quirky Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) has signed up to play Scuttle the seagull.

awkwafina photo
Getty Images | Jared Siskin

And child prodigy Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) will be playing adorable Flounder the fish.

jacob tremblay photo
Getty Images | Matt Winkelmeyer

Also, Alan Menken is teaming up with the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda to write new songs for this version of the Disney classic.

lin-manuel miranda photo
Getty Images | Kristy Sparow

Marshall, the director, also directed “Chicago” and “Into the Woods.” So there’s a good chance this film will be excellent.

But “The Little Mermaid,” the latest of Disney’s live-action retellings, is not even scheduled to start production until April of 2020, so it’ll be a while before we can see it.

If you just can’t wait, you can listen to some of Chloe x Halle’s best covers below. Here’s their version of Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts:”

And “Girl on Fire,” originally by Alicia Keys:

And here’s Halle Bailey covering “Unforgettable,” by Nat King Cole:

We can’t wait to hear her rocking Ariel’s greatest hits! Not to mention that lovely scale the character sings when Ursula captures her voice. You know what we mean:

How beautiful will that be when Bailey takes it on?

Entertainment, Movies & TV, News
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Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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