Disney praised as it casts Halle Bailey as Ariel in its 'Little Mermaid' remake

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Actress Halle Bailey attends the premiere of ABC's "Grown-ish" on December 13, 2017. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

US popstar Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the live action remake of Disney's The Little Mermaid, it's been confirmed.

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.

Halle Berry even joined in (for those who have got slightly confused on the internet.)

A fan account for the star has found an image she edited of Bailey as Ariel back in January shared widely online.

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.

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.