Grown-ish star Halle Bailey, who is also one-half of the singing sister duo Chloe x Halle, has been tapped to play Princess Ariel in Disney’s live-action/CGI take on animated classic The Little Mermaid. Rob Marshall is directing from a script written by David Magee.
Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, and Jacob Tremblay are also in talks to join the cast.
Disney is putting a diverse spin on the main character who has traditionally been portrayed as a white female with long red hair. Daughter of King Triton of Atlantica, the rebellious Ariel sets out to be a part of the human world and eventually marries a human, Prince Eric, whom she rescued from a shipwreck.
Bailey’s big break came after her and her older sister, Chloe, uploaded a cover to Beyoncé’s Pretty Hurts, which caught the attention of the uber-famous crooner and led the two to a record deal with her label Parkwood Entertainment.
This project will mark Bailey feature debut. She can currently be seen as a regular on Freeform’s Grown-ish series, in which she plays Sky who, along with her twin sister Jazz (played by real-life sister Chloe), is on the track team at the college.
Marc Platt, Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and John DeLuca are producing The Little Mermaid for Disney. The original film’s composer Alan Menken is back to write new music and will craft the lyrics with Miranda.