The cartoon Little Mermaid.
The cartoon Little Mermaid. Disney

Star of Little Mermaid remake revealed

Disney has today announced who will play Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of the classic film The Little Mermaid.

Singer and actress Halle Bailey, 19, of R&B duo Chloe x Halle, has landed the film's leading role.

Variety reports while the filmmakers met with a huge number of young actresses for the role, Bailey stood out from the start.

 

Halle Bailey. Picture: AP
Halle Bailey. Picture: AP

 

The cartoon Little Mermaid.
The cartoon Little Mermaid.

"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.

 

 

Bailey has already expressed her excitement about the project, tweeting "dream come true" from her band's social media account:

 

The star has been met with support on social media - but some are bracing for the inevitable backlash about casting a black actress to play Ariel, who was previously depicted as a pale redhead in the Disney cartoon:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The young star will join previously announced cast members including comedian Akwafina as Scuttle and child actor Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, while it was reported last week Melissa McCarthy was in talks to take on the iconic role of Ursula.

This live-action film will feature songs made popular in the 1989 original as well as new material written by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Fans of the original film will have to wait a while to see this new version - filming won't start until next year, and while no release date has been announced, it may not hit cinemas until 2022.

There'll be plenty of live-action Disney remakes to tide fans over until then, though. Next on the list: the hugely anticipated new Lion King movie out later this month, Lady and the Tramp in November and a live-action Mulan expected in March next year.