Little Mermaid – Halle Bailey will be Ariel in the 2020 Disney Remake

Posted on 4 July 2019
By Alyssa Zanon
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Disney have announced they will start shooting an action remake of the classic The Little Mermaid in 2020 and the big news is Ariel will be played by Halle Bailey.

This news gave rise to much debate because we will not see our Little Mermaid as the Danish redhead Princess of the Seas, but as a black young woman.

What is certain is that the amazing Ariel’s voice will thrill us even in this film.

Halle is a 19 years old singer. She’s part of a R&B duo called Chloe and Halle who started making song covers on YouTube and were discovered by none less than Beyonce’.

She also started in the Freeform series Grown-ish.

The actress was so excited that tweets that becoming Ariel is “a dream that come true”

She has immediately received support from big stars such as Hale Berry, the Oscar-winning actress for Moster’s Ball, and Naomi Scott who starred in the recent Alladin live action film.

Feminist writer Evette Dionne said: “Halle Bailey, a Black teens who wears locs, being cast as a Disney princess is what dreams are made of. Imagine what just seeing her onscreen will do for this generation of Black girls.”

Disney has assembled a dream team for the live action reboot: Rob Marshal, who worked also in the Mary Poppins Return, will be the director.

The movie will use both the original soundtrack composed in 1989 by Alan Menked and Howard Asheman and new songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Castings have just begun but the most important roles has been filled.

Melissa McCarthy will be Ursula meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Jacob Trembley will be Tremblay.

Rumours is that Scuttle the seagull will be play by a female actress, maybe the rapper Awkwafina.

The director has commented his choice for Halle saying “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”.

Unfortunately not all the Disney’s fans were happy about this choice because of the physical differences between Ariel and Halle.

There are a lot of tweets and comments that say something like “I’m not racist but the story takes place in Denmark, so it is justified that Ariel is white and red hair, don’t understand why you need to change her looks”.

Is this a marketing choice? Absolutely, the production hasn’t really started yet and all the web is speaking about this movie.

There are also other reasons: recently, Disney cast Chinese actress Liu Yifei to play heroine Mulan in another upcoming live action film, following accusations against Hollywood of “whitewashing” other films.

But the release of the film is still too far to know more and there will be more announcements in the next weeks.