Look at this news – isn’t it neat? Halle Bailey’s made casting Ariel complete.

Mere weeks before the studio supreme make a return trip to Pride Rock in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King remake, the news is out that the leading lady from under the sea has been cast in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid. Sources reveal that R&B singer Halle Bailey has been leagues ahead of the competition for some time, with director Rob Marshall settling on the choice for her being part of his world in the making.

Bailey is the latest addition to the cast, following the recent news that Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina have signed up for currently unspecified roles (something tells me Tremblay’s going to Flounder in this, mark my words). Although not confirmed just yet, there’s been whispers beneath the waves that Melissa McCarthy is being eyed for the role of the vocal-snatching villainess, Ursula, which is pretty good casting too.

Speaking about the recent signing for his sea-based tale, Marshall said in a statement, “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.”

Interestingly that’s the only seal of approval Bailey has earned either, with previous big career highs consisting of opening for Beyonce (soon to be unseen as Nala in The Lion King) on her ‘Lemonade’ tour.

Clearly no stranger to pressure, Bailey will be taking on a role based on one of Disney’s most beloved princesses in an all-time classic. She’s in safe waters though – not only is Marshall handling directing duties, but Mary Poppins Returns scribe, David Magee is jotting up a new draft of the script, with the film’s original composer Alan Menken working with Lin-Manuel Miranda to make some sweet sounds as well.

What do you think, though? Is Disney serving up something fishy? Or will their ongoing success of venturing back into the vault make waves with their upcoming entry?


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