Disney made quite a splash today, announcing that Halley Bailey — who stars on Grown-ish and comprises half of R&B duo Halle & Chloe — will be playing Princess Ariel in Rob Marshall's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. The studio also confirmed that production on the project is expected to commence in early 2020.
"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," Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) said in a statement.
Since last Friday, several casting reports for the remake have made their way online. At the moment, Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters), Jacob Tremblay (The Twilight Zone), and Awkwafina (Jumanji: The Next Level) are expected for the roles of Ursula, Flounder, and Scuttle, respectively. Of course, the spots that still need to be filled are those for Sebastian the crab; King Triton, Ariel's overbearing father; Prince Eric, Ariel's love interest; Grimsby, Eric's butler of sorts; and Chef Louis, a snooty and fish-hating gourmand.
Alan Menken is returning to handle the music, with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Mary Poppins Returns) at his side to pen never-before-heard songs. The beloved tracks originally written by Menken and Howard Ashman (e.g. "Under the Sea," "Part of Your World," etc.) will also feature prominently in the reimagining.
The official press release announcing Bailey's casting promised that additional developments for the film would be arriving over the next few weeks.
As for other remakes the House of Mouse has in the pipeline, you can also look forward to The Lion King (out July 19), Mulan, The Sword in the Stone, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and Snow White. In addition, you've got the live-action spinoffs for Maleficent (Mistress of Evil opens Oct. 18), Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians), Prince Charming (Cinderella), and Tinker Bell (Peter Pan).