After recent Disney remakes including Mulan and Aladdin, the studio is checking off more live-action adaptations of their classics, with The Little Mermaid currently filming in Italy. Its star is Halle Bailey, one part of the sister duo Chloe x Halle and a Grown-ish actress, who is taking on the role of Ariel, and she’s sharing the love she’s already receiving from Disney fans.
We have yet to see Halle Bailey’s Ariel, aside from some sneaky set photos. But as fans got excited for the Disney remake, one artist imagined the two versions of the characters hanging out together, and Bailey took notice. The actress/singer shared Louie Cruz’s artwork on Instagram with a sweet message:
Well, this is adorable. The illustration has the original Ariel from the 1989 classic standing alongside Halle Bailey’s version in their tattered makeshift dresses that are iconic to the Disney movie. The reference of Bailey’s look comes from a round of photos that have been making their way online. Bailey posted the artwork and shared that it “instantly” made her cry.
As the image shows, the new Ariel will not look exactly like the cartoon version. There have been a crowd of angry parties who were expecting the live-action version to directly adapt the cartoon but, as Bailey’s Grown-ish network Freeform recently pointed out, there is no reason why the character needs to be tied to the specific complexion and look like the 1989 movie. The illustration is a great example of how the two versions can get along just fine as we appreciate each one in their own ways.
The 21-year-old actress was cast in the role back in 2019, but she officially began filming the part this past January. The movie will be directed by Mary Poppins Returns and Chicago director Rob Marshall and will star Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric (after Harry Styles reportedly passed on the role) and Javier Bardem as King Triton. Among the voice cast is Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle.
While the movie will certainly follow the story and music of the original movie, Lin-Manuel Miranda also boarded the project, with original composer Alan Menken to write additional music for the movie. The movie has yet to receive a release date, but we’d imagine it’s headed our way sometime in 2022.
Along with The Little Mermaid, Disney just cast another Disney princess with the news that West Side Story newcomer Rachel Zegler is playing Snow White in an upcoming movie. Additionally, the studio is filming a live-action version of Peter Pan called Peter Pan & Wendy, starring Jude Law as Captain Hook and Halle Bailey’s Grown-ish co-star Yara Shahidi playing Tinker Bell. Until these releases come our way, the original The Little Mermaid is available to revisit on Disney+.