She was apparently a front-runner from the beginning
Disney has revealed the actress who will play Ariel in its live-action remake of 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid: Halle Bailey, one-half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle.
The 19-year-old singer was a front-runner for the role from the start, sources told Variety, though director Rob Marshall had spent months meeting with other contenders.
“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.
“Dream come true,” Chloe x Halle posted from their Twitter account, attaching an illustration of a reimagined Ariel. (The image, which was created by Dylan Bonner, went viral a few years ago as a series of illustrations a man had commissioned for his girlfriend as a Valentine’s Day gift.)
While The Little Mermaid remake will be Bailey’s feature film debut, she and her sister both appeared in Grown-ish, the Freeform television series and Black-ish spin-off.
Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina might join Bailey under the sea: The former is reportedly in talks with Disney to play and voice Flounder, and the latter for the role of Scuttle. Melissa McCarthy is also in talks to star as Ariel’s nemesis, Ursula.
No actor has been attached to the role of Prince Eric so far, though if BTS fans had their way, member Jimin would be cast as Ariel’s love interest.