R&B singer and actress Halle Bailey is set to become part of Disney’s world after being announced as the new Little Mermaid.
The 19-year-old – who is in the musical duo Chloe X Halle with her sister Chloe – said on Twitter that it was a “dream come true” to be cast as Ariel in the live-action remake.
Director Rob Marshall said Bailey was the perfect person for the role.
“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,” he said.
The casting has been praised on social media, with many people discussing the significance of a black woman taking on the part.
Bailey’s Oscar-winning namesake Halle Berry was among those congratulating the young star.
She said: “In case you needed a reminder… Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you do! “
After Bailey replied thanking her, Berry added: “You are amazing, THRILLED for you!! #BlackGirlMagic #TheHalleLegacy.”
Singer Janelle Monae wrote: “Our Ariel @chloexhalle PERFECT choice congratssss Halle my love.”
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.
— Evette Dionne 🏁 (@freeblackgirl) July 3, 2019
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.”
The Little Mermaid will feature songs from the 1989 animated classic by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Marshall will also produce with John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Miranda.
Production is expected to start early next year.