The latest Disney classic to get the live-action treatment is The Little Mermaid — and the Twitterverse erupted when it was announced that singer Halle Bailey of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle will be playing the role of Ariel, drawing huge cheers, as well as a few trolls.
Director Rob Marshall said in a statement that Bailey was picked for the part after “an extensive search,” noting 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.” Variety reports that she was a top contender from the start.
Melissa McCarthy is reportedly in talks to play Ursula. Alan Menken, who was the composer for the original movie, and Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda will be working on original songs for the remake.
It’s an impressive lineup, but Bailey’s entry into the mix may have generated the most interest, with her casting is being hailed as a “huge breakthrough for colorblind casting.” Scores of fans roundly applauded the move online. Some trolls commented too, tweeting #NotMyAriel.
✨ A THREAD : Reasons why Halle Bailey is the BEST choice for Ariel in "Little Mermaid" live action✨ pic.twitter.com/42iPfPVBD7
— 𝖗𝖚𝖗𝖚🌸 (@SelG_Stan) July 4, 2019
Bailey and her sister Chloe rose to fame with their YouTube covers of Beyoncé songs, which so impressed the queen herself that she signed them with her Parkwood Entertainment music production company. Both sisters also star in the series Grown-ish, a spin-off of the hit show Black-ish.
Once the news of Bailey’s casting broke, Chloe x Halle posted an illustration of a black mermaid on the duo’s official Twitter account. The caption read: “Dream come true.”
Read the full story at Variety.