Disney has announced who will be Ariel in the live-action Little Mermaid – apparently it has been a controversial decision for some.
Singer and actress Halle Bailey has landed the leading role. The 19 year old from the R&B duo Chloe x Halle has impressed filmmakers from the start, according to a range of reports. “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.
Just Announced: Halle Bailey has been cast in the upcoming live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid. pic.twitter.com/GAUydbkfMV— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) July 3, 2019
On the announcement yesterday Baily expressed her excitement, calling the project “a dream come true” from her bands twitter.
dream come true... 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
The casting has come with some backlash however, with fans disgruntled that Halle does not match the redheaded cartoon version of Ariel from 1989.
“Thanks for ruining my favorite Disney Classic not fair!She’s beautiful although I don’t know her, but she doesn’t look physically like ARIEL,” wrote one fan. “.. she looks nothing like Ariel tho. come on Disney first Mulan now the little mermaid. You’re breaking my heart over here,” said another.
Although there was some negativity towards Disney’s casting choice, many more have applauded the decision to cast a black actress to play Ariel:
Disney has cast Halle Bailey as Ariel for the Little Mermaid live action film and I’m just here to see who will be mad. Bc I know some of you will be and I’m excited pic.twitter.com/K9OiHGkXLf— valerie complex (@ValerieComplex) July 3, 2019
She will join cast members including comedian Awkwafina as Scuttle and child actor Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and the iconic role of Ursula will be taken on by Melissa McCarthy. The film will feature songs made popular in the 1989 original as well as new music written by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Fans will have to hold off for some time to see the film however, as filming is expected to start next year. On top of that no release date has been mentioned by producers so we might not see it in the cinemas until 2022.
Plenty of live action Disney remakes to come though, with the new Lion King movie to come out later this month, Lady and the Tramp has a date in November and Mulan is expected to hit the big screen in March next year.
Cover image provided by Getty Images