Congrats, Halle Bailey! The 19-year-old has secured the role of Ariel in the Disney live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Grammy-nominated singer received the news regarding her casting early yesterday (July 3). She will join a notable cast including Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina. The film's director, Rob Marshall, is known for his work on Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns. He explained in a statement that choosing Bailey for the role was a no brainer.
"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.
The Little Mermaid centers around a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid who is in love with the idea of life on land. She goes to great lengths to live out her dream against her controlling father's wishes.
Back in 2015, Bailey and her sister, Chloe, caught Beyoncé's eye after their rendition of "Pretty Hurts" went viral on YouTube. Following their viral video, the Parkwood Entertainment signees have joined Beyoncé on tour as her opening act for the European leg of The Formation World Tour. The singing duo was also cast as regulars on Freeform's series, Grown-ish.
Disney has seen a lot of success from the live-action remakes of their classic films. Back in May, Disney released the Guy Ritchie-directed film, Aladdin, which now serves as Will Smith's highest-grossing film. Later this month, The Lion King is set to hit the big screen. The Jon Favreau-directed film will include Donald Glover, Beyoncé and many more.
The Little Mermaid is expected to start production early next year. In the meantime, check out Halle Bailey's exciting announcement regarding her latest role below.