The live-action version of the Disney classic The Little Mermaid will star Halle Bailey as Princess Ariel, but where have you seen her before?
One of Disney’s many upcoming live-action projects is The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey – and here’s where you’ve seen the young actress before. There have been various trends in the film industry in recent years, most notably connected universes, but there has also been an increase in live-action adaptations of animated movies, especially those from the Mouse House. Disney has been bringing some of its animated classics (or specific characters, like Maleficent and Cruella) to the real world for a while now, and among its upcoming adaptations is The Little Mermaid.
The animated version of The Little Mermaid was released in 1989 and was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, with music by the legendary Alan Menken. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid tells the story of Ariel, the youngest daughter of King Triton, who dreams of becoming a human. After rescuing Prince Eric from a shipwreck and falling in love with him, Ariel meets Ursula, the witch of the sea, with whom she makes a dangerous deal so she can become a human. The Little Mermaid is a big favorite among Disney fans, who weren’t exactly happy when a live-action version was announced.
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This new adaptation of The Little Mermaid is directed by Rob Marshall and stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. However, all eyes are on Halle Bailey, not just because she will bring one of the most beloved Disney Princesses to life but because she’s a somewhat new name in the film industry, though this isn’t her first role. Halle Bailey’s acting debut happened in 2006 in the rom-com Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah, after which she had minor roles and appearances in the TV shows House of Payne, Let It Shine, and Austin & Ally. However, Bailey might be best known for her music career alongside her sister, Chloe.
Chloe and Halle Bailey were taught at a young age by their father how to write songs, and they launched their own YouTube channel when they were 13 and 11. In it, they uploaded covers of different songs, the first one being Beyoncé’s “Best Thing I Never Had”. The sisters performed as Chloe x Halle and have released two studio albums so far: The Kids Are Alright in 2018, and Ungodly Hour in 2020. Bailey’s music career is what drove her to a cameo appearance in Austin & Ally, and in 2018 she was cast as Skylar “Sky” Forster in Grown-ish, a role she’s still playing. In addition to playing Ariel in the live-action version of The Little Mermaid, she will also perform her character’s songs, though whether they will be the same ones from the animated movie or completely new ones is unknown.
Ariel is Halle Bailey’s biggest role to date, but it surely won’t be the last, and it will mark the beginning of her career on the big screen now as a main character. Bailey doesn’t have any projects lined up after The Little Mermaid yet, but it’s only a matter of time for her to receive various offers after playing Ariel, and if the movie makes way for a sequel, fans will see her again in the near future but without a mermaid tail.
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