July 3 (UPI) — Disney cast singer Halle Bailey as Ariel in its live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” on Wednesday.
Director Rob Marshall announced the casting in a statement, saying he spent several months meeting with talent in search of a lead for the film, Variety reported.
“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,” he said.
The film will be the feature film debut for the 19-year-old Bailey, who is best known for performing in the R&B group Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe Bailey.
“Dream come true,” the group’s Twitter account wrote.
Bailey will join the cast, which already includes Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, while Melissa McCarthy is in discussions to play the villain Ursula. Bailey appears in “Black-ish” spinoff “Grown-ish” with her sister and Sara Shahidi.