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The Little Mermaid remake casts Halle Bailey – but who is she?


Disney's stream of live-action remakes keeps on coming with the news that the remake of The Little Mermaid has found its Ariel. She's to be played by Halle Bailey – here's everything you need to know about her.

She's already a singer

Of course, it's important that any new incumbent to the role of Ariel has a good set of pipes on them. And Atlanta-born Halle Bailey already has that covered – she's one half of RnB sister duo Chloe X Halle, who started as YouTube sensations before swiftly going viral. They performed at this year's Super Bowl and received two Grammy nominations, and if you think you've heard them before, that's because they performed the song 'Warrior' from Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time.

Not only that, she's self-taught

Bailey shares much of Ariel's tenacity – she taught herself how to write and perform music, telling Time Magazine that she and her family moved to Los Angeles "on the dream of living out what we want to do".

And her talents stretch beyond music: Bailey has also secured a huge fanbase off the back of her role in Grown-ish, a popular American teen sitcom spun off from the hit Black-ish about a young girl who heads off to college.

She had the perfect reaction to being cast

Bailey's casting has met with a great deal of attention, given she's emblematic of increasing diversity within Disney movies. (Ariel was originally white in the 1989 Disney animation.) And this pithy casting reaction posted to the Chloe X Halle Twitter page contains so much joy within so few words, we can't help but feel she's perfect for the role. It's no mean feat, either – she reportedly beat out the likes of Spider-Man's Zendaya for the role.

Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in Disney's Little Mermaid remake

Beyonce counts herself as a fan

Soon to be heard as the voice of Nala in Disney's The Lion King remake, Beyonce Knowles-Carter has also thrown her weight behind the Chloe x Halle duo. After they posted a Beyonce cover to YouTube, they were among the first signings to her record label Parkwood Entertainment. They featured in Beyonce's video for the song All Night and have supported her on some of the dates of her world tours. And as a three-year-old, Chloe played a young Beyonce in the 2003 film The Fighting Temptations.

And it's not just Beyonce: the likes of Ariana Grande have also come out in support of the superstar sisters.

What else do we know about The Little Mermaid remake?

Soundtrack-wise, Hamilton and Mary Poppins Returns star Lin-Manuel Miranda will team with the original film's composer Alan Menken. The 1989 movie, widely credited with kick-starting Disney's renaissance period, won Oscars for both songs and score, so expectations are clearly riding high. Melissa McCarthy is being linked to the role of villainous sea witch Ursula, and it's being directed by Mary Poppins Returns film-maker Rob Marshall.

Production is rumoured to be starting in 2020, so don't expect to see this one before the latter stages of 2021 at the earliest. 

What do you make of Halle Bailey's casting in The Little Mermaid? Let us know @Cineworld. And don't forget, we've got The Lion King roaring into life on 19th July.