It's been almost a week since Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in Disney's live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, but the discourse surrounding her casting has continued to evolve. An ever-growing number of people are defending Bailey's casting against racist remarks -- including Daredevil star Vincent D'Onofrio. The actor took to Twitter late last week to share his thoughts on "#MermaidGate", which you can check out below.
When it comes to #MermaidGate if the woman is a good actor/singer then she deserves the role. My final word on the mermaid tip.— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) July 4, 2019
I've never voiced a opinion about a mermaid before. It's a unique feeling. Not one I hope to feel again anytime soon.
D'Onofrio is no stranger to sharing his thoughts on Twitter, but even he acknowledges that it's "unique" for him to weigh in on Bailey's casting.
Bailey is known for her Grammy-nominated work in the music group Chloe x Halle, which she started with her sister in 2015. The pair got their start posting covers on YouTube, before being discovered by Beyonce and opening for her on her Lemonade tour. In terms of acting, Bailey has served as a series regular on Grown-ish, as well as appearances on Austin & Ally and Last Holiday.
“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,” the film's director, Rob Marshall, said in a statement when Bailey's casting was announced.
The Little Mermaid will see Bailey join Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Skuttle, with Melissa McCarthy in talks to play the villainous Ursula.
The film 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.”2comments
“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.”
What do you think of Vincent D'Onofrio's take on Halle Bailey being cast as The Little Mermaid? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!