Despite rumors that Zendaya was making a push for the titular role of Disney’s upcoming Little Mermaid live-action remake, director Rob Marshall announced that R&B artist and Last Holiday and Grownish-sh star Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel. Marshall cited Bailey’s “rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance” in the casting. This will be Bailey’s first work away from her sister Chloe, who is one half of the group Chloe x Halle, and has costarred with Halley in all of her acting projects.
There is no news on other casting, though Melissa McCarthy is reportedly in the front running to portray Ursula. John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are attached to produce the film, which will will feature songs from the original that were written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as some new tunes from Menken and Miranda. There is no word on a release date, though it is slated to begin production in 2020.