Halle Bailey is about to make a splash as the star of the live-action The Little Mermaid.
Bailey will play the title character, Ariel, in the upcoming movie, Disney announced Wednesday.
“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.
Bailey, 19, makes up one half of the R&B group Chloe X Halle and stars on the ABC series Grown-ish as Skylar Forster.
Production for The Little Mermaid is slated to kick off early next year. Famed composer Alan Menken, who worked on the animated original, returns to do the music for the upcoming movie with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The original film premiered in 1989 and centres on a mermaid who longs to become part of the human world.
It’s the latest Disney classic to receive a live-action adaptation. Several have come out this year, including Dumbo, which premiered in March, and Aladdin, which came out in May and has grossed more than US$870 million worldwide.
A life-like, computer-animated adaptation of The Lion King, meanwhile, hits cinemas on July 19. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service