Halle Bailey to play Ariel in Disney's live action 'The Little Mermaid'

Walt Disney Pictures has just announced that performer and Grown-ish star Halle Bailey will lead their upcoming live action take on The Little Mermaid. Although additional names have been rumored for various other roles, Bailey marks the first casting to be confirmed for the highly anticipated release.

“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,” says director Rob Marshall.

Marshall, who previously helmed Disney releases Into the Woods, Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and, most recently, Mary Poppins Returns, is producing The Little Mermaid alongside John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The new Little Mermaid is based on the 1989 animated release that was, in turned, based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The new film will feature beloved songs from the animated classic by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken (music) and Miranda (lyrics).

Production on The Little Mermaid is anticipated to begin in early 2020. Check back for additional updates as they become available.

Silas Lesnick is the Senior Editor of Moviebill. He has been covering entertainment news out of Los Angeles for more than a decade. You can reach him via e-mail or on Twitter.