Everything We Know So Far About Halle Bailey’s New Little Mermaid

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New “The Little Mermaid” live-action remake teaser video from Disney invites viewers to immerse themselves in Ariel’s realm.

Rob Marshall’s new musical recasts the original 1989 animated movie with live performers. The mermaid Ariel will once more fall in love with a human prince who lives on land in the new rendition, which will prompt the villainous Ursula to hatch a sinister scheme.

Since the debut of The Princess and the Frog and the Brandy-starring Cinderella, there’s no doubt that another Black Disney princess is long overdue. The live-action version has been in production for a while, but it only gained attention in July 2019 after Disney revealed Halle Bailey will play Ariel. The 20-year-old singer is a Beyoncé protege, one half of the R&B duet Chloe x Halle, and a regular on the Freeform show Grown-ish.

The Little Mermaid will premiere in theaters on May 26, 2023.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that according to Disney’s announcement in September 2021, the live-action version would open in theaters during Memorial Day weekend in 2023. In an Instagram post from the previous June, Halle Bailey revealed that production on the film had ended, as well as a first glimpse at our live-action Ariel.

“I cannot wait for time to speed up so you all can watch this film because it was made with so much love (plus blood sweat and tears),” she wrote.

Disney officially revealed the first look at the movie Friday, after a year of waiting. The quick teaser depicts Bailey as Ariel, the mermaid, swimming through her room of treasures and sunken ship refuge while being closely followed by Flounder in one shot. It concludes with a close-up of Ariel singing the well-known chorus from “Part of Your World.”

Bailey Will Play Ariel On-screen.

On July 3, 2019, the movie’s director, Rob Marshall, made a statement in which he claimed:

“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.”

Bailey shared her excitement on Twitter, calling the casting a “dream come true.” Since Anika Noni Rose provided the voice of Tiana in 2009, there hasn’t been a Disney princess who is African-American. For many Black ladies worldwide, this level of representation is a dream come true.

The official teasers for the movie are breathtaking.

Disney unveiled the first official poster for the up coming adaptation, which only depicts Bailey dressed as Ariel in the deep blue sea.  “Words can’t describe how immensely honored I feel to play the mermaid of my dreams, Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” Bailey penned in a heartfelt message beside sharing the photo on Instagram.


Just 100 days before the movie’s scheduled theatrical debut, Bailey also posted a brief video of herself as Ariel in her underwater realm. Additionally, we get our first glimpse of Ursula, the ultra-villain Melissa McCarthy plays in the new teaser.

Prince Eric will be played by Jonah Hauer-King.

Deadline reports that Disney hired Jonah Hauer-King to play Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid after Harry Styles apparently declined the part. The source added that actor Cameron Cuffe and Hauer-King both appeared in the role’s September 2019 auditions.

According to his IMDb website, the British-born actor Hauer-King has been in BBC dramas like Howards End and Little Women as well as the West End. In addition, she played the major parts in Once Upon a Time in Staten Island and A Dog’s Way Home.

Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, and Daveed Diggs from the Broadway play Hamilton are also cast members.

Disney has verified the entire cast: Ariel’s father King Triton will be portrayed by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), while sea witch Ursula will be portrayed by Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Scuttle the seagull will be portrayed by Awkwafina (The Farewell), Flounder the fish will be portrayed by Jacob Tremblay (Room), and Sebastian the musical crab will be portrayed by Daveed Diggs (Hamilton).

Bailey apparently portrays Ariel in the movie and looks “beautiful.”

Bailey refused to share the details of her formal transition into Ariel in a cover story for Variety, but it was reported that she will have the character’s distinctive red hair.

Lin-Manuel Miranda will write music for the new movie.

The soundtrack is a collaborative effort from Broadway legend Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken, who scored the original animated “The Little Mermaid.” As a producer on the 2016 film Moana, Miranda most recently collaborated with Disney to write the music for the film.

Following criticism, the original Ariel defended Bailey’s casting.

The hashtag #NotMyAriel started trending on Twitter when Bailey’s character was revealed. Since the Ariel from the 1989 animated picture, who became famous, was Danish and had red hair, many people felt that the singer was absolutely inappropriate for the role.

In a letter, Freeform defended their network star – “Poor, Unfortunate Souls” the post explained that “Danish mermaids can be Black because Danish people can be Black” and that “the character of Ariel is a work of fiction.”

Even the voice actress for Ariel in the 1989 film, Jodi Benson, backed the choice of Bailey. “The most important thing is to tell the story. And we have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside,” Adding, “and no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story.”

For the first time, Bailey addressed the situation in a cover story for Variety, describing how the response at first hurt her. “It’s important to have a strong support system around you. It’s hard to carry the weight of the world on your own,” said the actress in the interview. “[But] it was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear [my grandparents’s] words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you.’”

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