Disney’s live-action remake train just keeps on rolling, and the next stop is the live-action version of The Little Mermaid. There’s a lot of talk about who is in negotiation for the different parts but it looks like we’re confirmed on our lead, the titular mermaid herself. Singer Halle Bailey will be the film’s Ariel.
Bailey is a singer by trade, part of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, but she has been doing acting work in the spin-off Grown-ish. And as expected, the casting of a Black actress as Ariel, who is white in the original animated film, has caused some conversation:
I guess we non-black people can’t say anything about the casting because whatever we say, we are just some racist people. I just want the movie to be like the one I watched when I was a kid. Is that too much to ask? #notmyariel
— EvanMcSwag (@evanmcswag992) July 4, 2019
Fact box: the Little Mermaid lives on a TROPICAL CORAL REEF with a calypso-singing lobster with a strong Jamaican accent. When you think about it, it's bizarre she was white the first time around.
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) July 4, 2019
So is everyone forgetting that the little mermaid is Danish? Or that Ariel's grandfather is Poseidon?
Neither Danish nor Greek girls look like Halle!!! You are really quick to point out cultural appropriation but why not now?#NotMyAriel
— jojojojo (@iwannanina) July 4, 2019
Some of the anger directed at the casting for the little Mermaid 🧜🏾♀️ is absolutely laughable. Take these tears somewhere else!! This behavior is embarrassing and tres passé. Very 2000. Ugh. HALLE IS IT. End 👏🏾 of 👏🏾sto 👏🏾 ry👏🏾. pic.twitter.com/ph3B5fk0zE
— Cynthia Erivo (@CynthiaEriVo) July 4, 2019
#NotMyAriel it’s not just white people who are upset about this. I’m a Mexican, if they decided to make a live action Coco movie and had Jungkook from BTS as Miguel I’d be pretty dang disappointed. AND I LOVE BTS! This isn’t about racism, it’s about staying true to the story💜🤷🏻♀️
— Calixforever (@calixXxforever) July 4, 2019
Do all the people moaning about the top half of the Little Mermaid have an opinion on what type of fish the bottom half is?
— Simon Holland (@nmber48) July 4, 2019
The casting for the live action Little Mermaid is complete BS and I am outraged
I demand a more racially accurate mythological fish human hybrid and I demand she seduce men by singing and drive them to their deaths in order to be more sensitive to mermaid culture https://t.co/VaiKrEFJHL
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) July 4, 2019
“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 director Rob Marshall in a statement.
There are other negotiations in the air. Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play the villain Ursula the Sea Witch. There is two more confirmed cast members: Jacob Tremblay playing fishy side-kick Flounder and Awkwafina as the mixed-up seagull Scuttle. Marc Platt, Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and John DeLuca will all produce. Alan Menken, the original film’s composer, will be back to write new music with Miranda working on lyrics.
Production on The Little Mermaid is set to begin in early 2020.