A new princess has just become part of Disney’s live-action world! The Little Mermaid’s director, Rob Marshall, announced on Tuesday that 19-year-old Halle Bailey would star as Ariel after an “extensive search." He attributed the pick to Bailey’s “rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance.” The young talent has been a rising star in the world of music, television and film for years, though this role will undoubtedly give her name new legs.
Halle Bailey is best known for her music collaborations with her 21-year-old sister, Chloe, called Chloe x Halle. The pair got their start by posting YouTube covers in 2013. Beyoncé, who will soon star in The Lion King remake, took notice of their take of her song “Pretty Hurts” and signed them to her label Parkwood Entertainment.
The larger-than-life pop star has served as a mentor for the girls, taking them on two of her tours. Chloe x Halle opened for Beyoncé’s European leg of her Formation World Tour and her On the Run II Tour with Jay-Z. They appeared in her Lemonade visual album as well! Just take a look at the duo in the midst of Beyoncé, The Hate U Give’s Amandla Stenberg, Spider-Man: Far From Home’s Zendaya, and the twin sisters from Ibeyi:
Chloe and Halle released their debut album in 2018, titled The Kids Are Alright, which they wrote and executive produced. The album got them nominated for two Grammy nominations, including for Best New Artist. The track “Warrior” was featured on Disney’s Wrinkle of Time and their song “Be Yourself” was featured in Issa Rae and Regina Hall starred comedy Little.
The duo’s song “Grown” also became the theme song to the Freeform spin-off to ABC’s Black-ish, Grown-ish. The sisters were also given regular roles on the teen show: Halle as Sky (on the left below) and Chloe, Jaz.
The girls were in the 2006 Queen Latifah comedy Last Holiday, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally. Chloe x Halle also sang “America the Beautiful” at 2019’s Super Bowl LIII Pregame show in Atlanta, which they are natives of. Check it out:
Halle Bailey definitely has the vocal chops to belt out “Part of Your World” and has challenged herself with a few acting projects as well! And maybe her sister Chloe will join in on the musical as one of the daughters of Triton?
Although Halle is the only actress confirmed for The Little Mermaid, reports have been swirling about Melissa McCarthy taking on Ursula and Jacob Trembley and Awkwafina playing Flounder and Scuttle. Rob Marshall has had success with bringing musicals to screen including Chicago, Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. No release date has been tapped, but the film is looking to begin production in early 2020.