Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid has officially found its Ariel, with Grown-ish star and Grammy-nominated musician Halle Bailey being cast in the role. For almost a year now, some had speculated that Spider-Man Far From Home's Zendaya was tied to the role in some capacity, but it looks like she is more than happy with the actual outcome. On Wednesday, Zendaya took to Twitter to congratulate Bailey on her casting, saying that she's "here for this".
Rumors around Zendaya possibly playing Ariel popped up around August of last year, with the actress hinting that she wouldn't be opposed to playing the part.
"I mean, yeah, why wouldn't I?" Zendaya said in September of last year.
A month later, Zendaya reassured that her involvement with the project was nothing more than "just rumors", but fans still wondered about the possibility as details around the film began to fall into place. Now that Bailey has been cast - and Zendaya is among the many who are on board with her getting the role - that speculation can be put to rest.
Bailey is known for her 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 previously appeared in Grown-ish, Austin & Ally, and Last Holiday.
The Little Mermaid will see Bailey join Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina as Flounder and Skuttle, with Melissa McCarthy in talks to play 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.”1comments
“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.”
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