Continuing with it’s current trend of taking its animated films and re-making them as live action movies, Disney has announced its latest casting choice for the live action Little Mermaid movie.
R&B singer Halle Bailey (no, not Halle Berry, read that again) has been cast as Ariel in the new adaptation. Now, you may noticed something interesting here. Look carefully at the picture of Bailey, and the picture of Ariel. Notice a difference? It’s pretty obvious. You don’t even have to look too closely. Do you see it?
Halle Bailey is NOT a redhead!
Yes, that’s right.
In what is sure to be a much-criticized and controversial decision among fans of the classic animated film, Disney cast a non-redhead in the role of the most famous Disney redhead of them all. (Even more famous than Merida from Brave!)
Variety gives us more details as to director Rob Marshall’s questionable casting decision:
Chloe x Halle member Halle Bailey is ready to become part of Disney’s world.
The R&B singer has been tapped to play Ariel in Disney’s next live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” Although director Rob Marshall has spent the last couple of months meeting with talent, insiders say Bailey has been a clear front runner from the beginning.
“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,” Marshall said in a statement.
The role marks Bailey’s feature film debut, following the formation of her music group Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe in 2015. The pair first rose to fame by posting YouTube covers of Beyoncé before they were eventually discovered by the R&B superstar and her record label. Since their discovery, the duo has signed a record deal with Parkwood Entertainment and has opened for Beyoncé on her “Lemonade” tour.
She also stars in the Freeform series “Grown-ish.”
Director Rob Marshall made a big splash with his adaptation of the hit musical Chicago as his debut film back in 2002. Since then he has directed the films Memoirs of a Geisha, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Disney’s Into the Woods, and most recently the follow-up to the classic Marry Poppins – Marry Poppins Returns. He’s known not only for his visual flare, but also for his ability to handle musicals. My guess is that Marshall placed a great deal of importance on singing talent for his choice of Ariel, and Bailey was the one who met his standard.
Jacob Tremblay, the child actor from Brie Larson’s Room and the autistic child from The Predator, is also cast in the adaptation as Flounder (Ariel’s pet fish), along with rapper Awkwafina, who appeared in both Oceans 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, and who’ll be playing Scuttle (the seagull).
As for the character of Ursula, actress Melissa McCarthy is in talks to assume the villainous role.
There is currently no word on whether Marshall plans to change the hair color of any other major character in the new version of The Little Mermaid, but it is important to note that it is 2019 and everyone should be totally fine with updating the hair of beloved classic characters, and it’s wrong to think otherwise. After all, it’s worked out perfectly for everyone who’s done so in the past. Refer to the image below for proof. The days of characters having red hair are dying, and we’re all better off for it, because no one should ever like gingers.
What do you think of this casting decision? Do you agree with it? Or would you rather a redhead have gotten the role? Let us know in the comments!