HEAT VISION

Disney Finds 'Little Mermaid' Star in Singer Halle Bailey

Rob Marshall will direct the live-action musical.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Courtesy of Photofest
Rob Marshall will direct the live-action musical.

Singer-actress Halle Bailey will be part of Disney's world.

Bailey, who with her sister forms R&B duo Chloe x Halle, has nabbed the starring role in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and will play the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land.

The decision was made today, with the budding actress notified later Wednesday morning.

Mermaid is casting up, with Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in talks to star and lend their voices to other live-action and CG parts.

Rob Marshall is set to direct, after helming the studio's sequel to Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns.

"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.

An early 2020 production start is being planned.

Ron Clements and John Musker were behind the animated 1989 original, which won best original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken. For the new iteration of the fairy tale, Menken will update his score, and will compose a new song with lyrics from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Marc Platt, who worked with Marshall on Mary Poppins Returns and exec produced Guy Ritchie's live-action Aladdin remake, is producing. Marshall and John DeLuca are also producers Mermaid, as is Miranda.

Bailey, 19, is best known as one-half of Chloe x Halle, who signed to Beyoncé's Parkwood Entertainment label after gaining popularity with YouTube covers. The Little Mermaid would be a breakout role for Bailey, whose only other screen credit is as a supporting player on Freeform's Yara Shahidi series Grown-ish.

She is repped by CAA.

The Chloe x Halle Twitter account posted the below tweet shortly after the news went out.

July 3, 12:37 p.m. Updated with statement from Rob Marshall.

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