One half of the Grammy-nominated sibling R&B duo Chloe x Halle, she was named for the part after an 'extensive search', director Rob Marshall said.
For her part, Bailey called it a 'dream come true' in a tweet, which also featured a picture from the artist Dylan Bonner, who has reworked many Disney characters in the past, posting the results on his hugely popular Instagram page.
Said Marshall of the casting: “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.”
Read more: Who is Halle Bailey?
Bailey's casting has been met with a wave of positivity, many praising Disney for the colourblind casting.
Do ya'll realize how perfect this is? Disney's coming for all my dollars. Halle's voice IS Ariel's voice. Her face is angelic. A mermaid princess in real life. I'm in my FEELINGS #TheLittleMermaid #HalleBailey pic.twitter.com/A8IcPC3RRg— @UnderTheSea (@xfillorian) July 3, 2019
for those of you who don’t know who miss halle is pic.twitter.com/TMnnyuswuY— CAST HENDERY AS PRINCE ERIC (@NEOAPHRO) July 3, 2019
Halle Bailey, a Black teens who wears locs, being cast as a Disney princess is what dreams are made of. Imagine what just seeing her onscreen will do for this generation of Black girls.— Evette Dionne 🏁 (@freeblackgirl) July 3, 2019
HALLE IS PLAYING ARIEL WE HAVE A BLACK ARIEL 🧜🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/NhMREn8TZH— *bigdaddylexus*♐️ (@dhscoikon) July 3, 2019
Brandy walked so Halle Bailey could swim. pic.twitter.com/FGuwAzAHUT— Kevin Fallon (@kpfallon) July 3, 2019
Halle Berry even joined in (for those who have got slightly confused on the internet.)
In case you needed a reminder... Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you do! #TheLittleMermaid #HalleBailey pic.twitter.com/z0Rik2nxRe— Halle Berry (@halleberry) July 3, 2019
A fan account for the star has found an image she edited of Bailey as Ariel back in January shared widely online.
halle bailey for ariel forever and always 🥰 pic.twitter.com/7W3KWkHrDs— HALLE BAILEY IS ARIEL (@halleslynch) June 21, 2019
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is producing the movie alongside film musical legend Marshall (who made Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns and Into The Woods).
It will also feature songs from the original score by Alan Menken, as well as some new material from Menken and Miranda.
And with Bailey's casting a triumph for diversity, social media is now being flooded with suggestions for the casting of Prince Eric, voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes in the 1989 original.
We got a black Ariel! Can we get a Korean prince Eric? Come on Prince Jimin! pic.twitter.com/HBsqSffe4v— 💜Angie Grace 💜 (@AngieGraceLA) July 3, 2019
I’m starting my Jordan Fisher for Prince Eric campaign rn pic.twitter.com/5e2HD7ILnk— Britt Rivera @ #Supercon (@kindamoviesnob) July 3, 2019
Selfishly I want Harry Styles as Prince Eric 😭 pic.twitter.com/2OUkic6J05— Kirbie Johnson (@kirbiejohnson) July 3, 2019
Tessa Thompson for Prince Eric.— Pete Forester (@pete_forester) July 3, 2019
It follows news that Melissa McCarthy is said to be in talks to play the villainous Ursula, with Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina thought to be in line to play Flounder and Scuttle.
Filming is expected to begin in 2020.