Disney Casts Halle Bailey as Ariel in Live Action “The Little Mermaid”

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Disney has cast Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the upcoming live action remake of the Disney animated classic, “The Little Mermaid”.

From Variety:

Chloe x Halle member Halle Bailey is ready to become part of Disney’s world.
The R&B singer has been tapped to play Ariel in Disney’s next live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” Although director Rob Marshall has spent the last couple of months meeting with talent, insiders say Bailey has been a clear front runner from the beginning.
“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.
Bailey is joining a cast that includes Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, while Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula.
“The Little Mermaid” will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is also producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca.
David Magee wrote the script with Jane Goldman writing a previous draft. Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing for the studio.
The original 1989 animated hit followed the mermaid princess Ariel as she sought to fall in love with a human prince on land. Menken wrote the film’s original music, including the songs “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.”
The role marks Bailey’s feature film debut, following the formation of her music group Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe in 2015. The pair first rose to fame by posting YouTube covers of Beyoncé before they were eventually discovered by the R&B superstar and her record label. Since their discovery, the duo has signed a record deal with Parkwood Entertainment and has opened for Beyoncé on her “Lemonade” tour.

Source: Variety

About the author

Joe Hogarty

Joe moved from New York to Florida back in 1997. He currently resides in St. Petersburg and visits the parks frequently. His first visit to the Magic Kingdom was when he was 8 years old back in 1974. Joe originally originally started as a photographer for WDWNT and is now the host of WDWNT: Nerd Alert, our movie reviewer and reports the news for WDWNT. You can contact Joe through email at [email protected]

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Ron Patterson
Guest
Ron Patterson

as much as I believe the the best person for the job, this is straight up SJW get Woke, they just can’t stick to the story.

Perry
Guest
Perry

Weird view, but I’ll take the bait: how does the color of Ariel’s skin change the story in any way? Not to mention she’s a MERMAID, a made up creature. Let someone else give the character a try; you’ll always have your animated version. And have you ignored Disney films from the last 10-15 years or so? Because they’re big on inclusion, diversity, etc. You could have just stopped after “job” to avoid sounding like a bigot.

Enough
Guest
Enough

Disney has been making some really stupid movies. Enough is enough with this stuff man. Guess we will have a white princess and the frog.

Sophie Howell
Guest
Sophie Howell

I suppose you could argue that the story isn’t Disney’s. The original story of the little mermaid involves her death and sea-foam. Maybe they’ll bring that aspect back, along with maybe a more macabre feel. Sebastian has a strong Jamaican accent, maybe they’re going for that kind of geographical area, more the mermaids from Pirates of the Caribbean? Although with the casting of Melissa McCarthy for Ursula maybe not. It will be interesting to see how this one develops. Secretly I do hope they change direction a bit and twist this up ever so slightly. Who knows. I have not… Read more »

R9op
Guest
R9op

I guess Disney World will have to replace meet-and-greet Ariel with a black girl now too.

Brandon Burns
Guest
Brandon Burns

It’s gotten completely out of hand and so obvious.

Natasha
Guest
Natasha

I’m sorry but what is with Disney and Hollywood lately remaking nostalgic movies by changing their ethnicity and doing the same movie doesn’t make it better nor dues making the live show of Ariel a black girl? Ariel was white and if Ariel had been black to begin with then she should remain black but she wasn’t black, she’s white so keep her that way!

AdeeK
Guest
AdeeK

If Disney wasn’t so busy doing remakes and shoe horning in social justice messages, they could instead invent some awesome NEW movies with awesome new actresses like Halle. Why force it?

Enough
Guest
Enough

This is ridiculous . Some of the things Disney is doing lately is just bad. Enough is Enough with this type of crap. Are we going to get a white princess and the frog. ooooo no because that wrong. totally wrong. Just turned me way off!! Very interested to se how this one does. Aladdin should have been better and now check out Lion King voices look real equal. They try to put the gay thing in Beauty and the Beast! I mean what is happening here. Enough is Enough.

Shell
Guest
Shell

Im sorry but she has to be a red head pale skinned girl. Its who she is. You wouldnt make Mulan a white girl….or a Tiana a white white girl. I wouldnt want to see Pocahontas or Princess Jasmine change race. Really sad at the world trying to be politically correct. Were going to have maleficent is a man next, and Zerg a woman. All wrong..its a mistake disney to change race of our beloved characters.

Doug
Guest
Doug

I am not a fan of this move….and no it’s not a racist thing. I just think the princesses should keep their classic look. But just to play devil’s advocate, if Tiana or Mulan were recast as a different ethnicity, there would be some screams heard I think. Just a thought…

Stitchlover
Guest
Stitchlover

You guys…. maybe she’s just the best person for the role, looking past race. Perhaps a pale skinned woman with red hair just couldn’t sing the same. Before you say I’d have a different opinion if they cast Tiana as white or whatever, you’d be correct. Tiana’s race is important to her story, as is shows the pay gap between her and (forgive me if I get her name wrong it’s been a while) Charlotte and her father. Tiana worked harder than them, yet she couldn’t get the same jobs as someone who was white. The pay gap was probably… Read more »