Disney made a big announcement about its upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid today with the reveal that Halle Bailey, best known for her work in the music group Chloe x Halle, has been cast as the titular Mermaid herself, Ariel. Per Variety, Bailey was the "clear front runner" from the very start of the casting process and now will officially bring to life on the big screen the young mermaid princess longing to be part of the human world.
However, some of the excitement of the announcement was a little misplaced for some folks on the internet. As Bailey's name is very similar to that of actress Halle Berry, the internet had a little bit of a short meltdown as people did serious doubletakes as they read headlines. While most fans figured out pretty quickly that its relative newcomer Bailey who will be making the dangerous agreement with Ursula the Sea Witch -- whom Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play -- and not Berry, the reactions were pretty hilarious as people expressed how they tried to make it all make sense. As many noted, Berry would make a great Ariel in the right context, but the story is definitely skewed towards a younger mermaid.
The Little Mermaid, starring Bailey as Ariel, will be directed by Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), with a script from David Magee and Jane Goldman. The film is expected to feature original songs from the 1989 animated blockbuster, as well as new tracks composed by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“There are things I’ve learned about how you have to work to integrate songs into story, and how it has to feel earned. It can’t just be sort of put there, placed there, because you feel there should be a song,” Marshall told ComicBook.com. “It has to be a song that’s earned, that takes you there. And so as we’re working on, in a way, fleshing out The Little Mermaid — Ariel has one song in the animated film — and so we’re looking for maybe more material.”
“Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are coming on board to write some lyrics, so that’s exciting, to sort of take what was there, which is so beloved, but also find a way to create a live-action version of it,” Marshall said, adding “the lessons of creating an original musical have been very helpful so far.”
Want to check out some of our favorite reactions from those thinking Berry had been cast as Ariel? Read on to see which ones caught our eye and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
For a moment, I thought that said “Halle Berry as Ariel” and I was like... pic.twitter.com/cg8mpPMpip— Jonathan Apollo (@IAmJonnyApollo) July 3, 2019
Me, trying to comprehend this post for 2 minutes: ‘That... isn’t Halle Berry though??’
🥴😂— Meda (@A_smallrobot) July 3, 2019
Definitely misread the Ariel casting as "Halle Berry" and was completely befuddled for a good, few, dozen, FIFTYLEVEN, minutes.— Mandel (@ThaDeezo) July 3, 2019
Halle Berry as the sea witch in human form maybe.
But not the Ariel character at this age.— Good Guy, No Bodies in the Basement, Congenial (@XRobsPunchinBag) July 3, 2019
Halle Berry looks great for her age wow https://t.co/34cptXbz8i— Alice (@txicmelody13) July 3, 2019
I KEEP READING HER NAME AS HALLE BERRY— Kelly 🕷📚 (@hughesytweets) July 3, 2019
I don't know who this is, but it isnt Halle BERRY, and I can't decide if I'm disappointed. https://t.co/ZaqN9y8uRQ— Dude, why MY car?! (@trainsongcomics) July 3, 2019
I thought that said Halle Berry and I was thinking she was a little old to play Ariel.— Meisterbuerger (@meisterbuerger) July 3, 2019
I read this tweet like 5 times trying to figure out how they were going to pull off Halle Berry as a 16-year-old https://t.co/PY3RPwzH1R— Nfinit (@Nfinit) July 3, 2019
I read it too fast and read her name as Halle Berry and was about to have QUESTIONS lol.
(not that I would hate that casting by any means)— Florida Woman (@notTHATalexa) July 3, 2019