NEW YORK (AP) — Halle Bailey, half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle, will next be going under the sea, starring as Ariel in the upcoming adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.”
The live-action version will include original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Some of the tunes include “Under the Sea,” ”Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.”
Bailey will join Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in the film, which will be directed by Rob Marshall, who helmed “Mary Poppins Returns.”
The announcement marks the first time Disney has cast a woman of color in the role of a traditionally white princess for one of its live-action remakes.
Marshall says that Bailey “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.”
Bailey called being cast in the film a “dream come true” on Twitter.
The groundbreaking casting has been praised by many, including actress Halle Berry.
But others criticized the casting after the announcement and the hashtag #NotMyAriel was trending on social media.
The film is expected to be released in 2020.