Disney announced Wednesday that Halle Bailey, best known for her work on Freeform's Grown-ish and as half of the singing duo Chloe x Halle, will be playing the lead role of Ariel in its upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
"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,” said Rob Marshall, who will be directing the film.
Reacting to the news, Bailey posted a photo of a melanin-rich Ariel from the Chloe x Halle Twitter account with the caption "Dream come true."
dream come true... 🧜🏽♀️🌊
Bailey, along with her sister Chloe, made waves in the entertainment industry long before Disney came calling.
While under Beyoncé's wing (who herself has a role in the upcoming Lion King remake as Nala), Bailey and her sister released a mixtape, The Two of Us, and a studio album, The Kids Are Alright.
Bailey's star has continued to rise, recording the theme song for Grown-ish in 2017 and showcasing her live performance skills with a much-discussed Grammys moment earlier this year.
The news of Bailey's inclusion in the film comes on the heels of speculation that Oscar-nominated actor Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play her character's nemesis, the sea witch Ursula.
According to a press release, the film will feature music from the original animated 1989 classic, including the songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken (music) and Lin Manuel-Miranda of Hamilton fame (lyrics).
Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks, and production on The Little Mermaid will begin in early 2020.