Halle Bailey will next be going under the sea, starring as Ariel in the upcoming adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.”
The live-action version will include original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Some of the tunes include “Under the Sea,” ”Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.”
Bailey will join Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in the film, which will be directed by Rob Marshall, who helmed “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Fans on Disney’s social media account weren’t all happy with the casting, as the Ariel in the cartoon is white with red hair. They expressed their displeasure about what they consider politically correct casting.
The decision was made today, with the budding actress notified later Wednesday morning.
“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,” said Marshall in a statement.
An early 2020 production start is being planned.
Ron Clements and John Musker were behind the animated 1989 original, which won best original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken. For the new iteration of the fairy tale, Menken will team with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the music.
Bailey, 19, is best known as one-half of Chloe x Halle, who signed to Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment label after gaining popularity with YouTube covers. The Little Mermaid would be a breakout role for Bailey, whose only other screen credit is as a supporting player on Freeform’s Yara Shahidi series Grown-ish.