The Little Mermaid: Here are the cast rumours for the live action remake 🦀

She's the perfect choice!

Halle Bailey

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

Disney's live action remake of The Little Mermaid is seriously ramping up - we now have our Ariel! Singer Halle Bailey has been announced as playing the titular character in the remake of the 1989 animated classic.

The 19-year-old, who performs with her sister Chloe under the name Chloe x Halle and was signed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, was announced by director Rob Marshall in a statement to reveal that she was joining the cast alongside Ocean's Eight star Awkwafina and Room child actor Jacob Tremblay.

The statement read, "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."

Halle also shared an Instagram post to reveal she'd won the role, posting an incredible reworking of the iconic moment Ariel sings 'Part Of Your World' on the rock with the caption, 'dream come true... 🧜🏽‍♀️🌊 #thelittlemermaid.' [sic]


The 15 most underappreciated animated films EVER - SLIDER with cover pic

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Swipe through to see the most underrated and overlooked animated films out there...

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CREDIT: Disney

1) The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Disney, 1996

We LOVE animated films and we've included this because not many people in the office have seen it! Admittedly, it is a little dark and ever so slightly gruesome, but the songs are by far and away some of the best that Disney song-master Alan Menken has ever written.It tells the tale of Quasimodo, a disfigured man who lives in the bell tower of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. He was brought up by Judge Frollo, an evil man who killed Quasimodo's mother, unbeknownst to him. Enter a beautiful gypsy who has a hilarious and sassy pet goat, a soldier and some talking gargoyles – what more do you need?!

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CREDIT: Don Bluth

2) Thumbelina, Don Bluth, 1994

Based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, Thumbelina is a story of death-defying love, the importance of family – and a tiny, tiny girl. Grown from a flower, Thumbelina (voiced by Jodi Benson AKA Ariel from The Little Mermaid) is somewhat mollycoddled by her loving but slightly over-protective mum.When she goes on an adventure with the fairy Prince Cornelius, she falls deeply in love. But the two are separated by a family of Spanish toads, a beetle, a mole – and the deathly dangerous winter. Will they ever make it back together? You'll be singing Let Me Be Your Wings for WEEKS.

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CREDIT: Disney

3) The Princess and the Frog, Disney, 2009

You know the story of The Frog Prince, right? A prince gets turned into a frog and only true love's kiss can break the spell and make him human again. But who's going to fall in love with a frog? Well that's where things get interesting. In THIS version, he does get a kiss, but it has the opposite effect – turning TIANA into a frog too. Go on – you know you want to.

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CREDIT: DreamWorks

4) The Prince of Egypt, DreamWorks, 1998

Tell you what, if you're looking to teach your kids about Moses and the Ten Plagues of Egypt, you could do a lot worse than to show them this. It's not EXACTLY spot on for historical accuracy, but you've not come here to watch documentaries, have you? Be warned – it is pretty dark and it will DEFINITELY tug at your heartstrings, but it's a must-see if you want your children to be interested in religion or history.

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CREDIT: Disney

5) Pocahontas, Disney, 1995

If you're wanting your kids to watch Frozen because you think Elsa is a fantastic female role model, get them in front of this classic. Pocahontas is the daughter of the chief who is expected to marry the handsome (and boring) lead warrior who is leading the charge against the American invaders. But when she chooses to make her own choices and follows her heart, it leads her right to one of them... I dare you to watch this without shedding a tear at the end.

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CREDIT: Disney

6) Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Disney, 2001

If you're reading this thinking, 'Pish posh, I've seen ALL of these films – what are you on about?!' – then this film could be the one that stumps you. Atlantis is one of only a few major Disney movies NOT to feature any singing or songs. Based on the legend of the lost city of Atlantis, Milo Thatch is a scientist who believes the place is real and that he can find it. If you're a fan of Avatar, you'll like this.

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CREDIT: DreamWorks

7) Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, DreamWorks, 2002

Animators took a different route with Spirit. Whilst in The Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle Book the animals all spoke, in Spirit they don't. The film is narrated by main character, but the horses don't actually speak to each other. Whilst it's very interesting, it can be tough to sit through a film where there's only really one person speaking, but it's a story well worth watching as it teaches children the morals of using animals – Spirit is a wild stallion who is captured and taken from his herd, then used as a war horse. Of course, it has a very happy ending!

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CREDIT: Disney

8) Oliver and Company, Disney, 1988

Oh LORDY now this is an exemplary case of a remake. Oliver & Company is plain and simply the story of Oliver Twist – but with cats and dogs substituted in. And the occasional human. Featuring the vocal talents of Billy Joel, both speaking and singing, there are some bliddy catchy songs in there. But there are a few scary bits, so if you're watching with kids... Make sure they're ready to cover your eyes.

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CREDIT: New Line Cinema

9) The Swan Princess, New Line Cinema, 1994

This largely unknown film is based on the story of Swan Lake by Tcahikovsky. It's all about Princess Odette who has been betrothed to Prince Derek since birth, but when her father is killed and she disappears, everyone assumes she's dead too. She's not – she's just been turned into a swan. But guess what's the only thing that can wake her up? Yep, true love's kiss. This film wasn't a HUGE success, but it's one of those that you can learn to love...

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CREDIT: DreamWorks

10) Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, DreamWorks, 2003

Featuring Brad Pitt, Michelle Pfeiffer and Catherine Zeta-Jones, this visually stunning film should have been a sure-fire success. Sadly, it had a massive $125 million loss which nearly bankrupted the company.But don't let that put you off – it's an exciting and intriguing story of adventure and finding yourself and include some VERY weird and wonderful creatures. Oh, and there's a lovable dog. What more could you need?!

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CREDIT: Disney

11) Brother Bear, Disney, 2003

If you/your sprog's a fan of Big Hero 6, it's essentially a pre-cursor to Brother Bear. Except with no gadgets or universities. And this time it's got bears and spirits. The main character, Sitka, is devastated when a bear kills his brother so he kills one in revenge. But he's not prepared for what happens next… Brother Bear teaches the importance of family, and not necessarily those you are related to – but the ones you pick for yourself.

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CREDIT: DreamWorks

12) The Road to El Dorado, DreamWorks, 2000

The Road to El Dorado is a story about two Spanish con artists who win a map to a secret island. Once there, they find the lost city of El Dorado – and the inhabitants (for reasons I just can't get my head around) mistake them for gods.When they realise the power that comes with being gods and see all the gold that the islanders have, they decide to use it to their advantage. But there's a scary chap who has some sort of magic powers and it all goes a bit downhill for everyone involved. Of course, there's a happy ending.

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CREDIT: Warner Bros.

13) The Iron Giant, Warner Bros., 1999

The Iron Giant is about a little boy who discovers a giant man made of iron (obvs) and befriends him. However, the United States Government are onto the giant, and fear he is a weapon sent from outer space. They're half right...Featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of the eponymous Giant, Jennifer Aniston as the mum and Harry Connick Jr. as an artist/car dealer, it's surprising that this epic didn't take off as much as it could have.

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CREDIT: Disney

14) Treasure Planet, Disney, 2002

This sci-fi reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's famous classic Treasure Island may be a strange concept to wrap your head around, especially with creatures like cyborg pirates and alien-cat-women. Well, there's only one of those – voiced by Emma Thompson, no less. Joseph Gordon-Levitt voices Jim Hawkins, a young lad who goes on an adventure to escape his upsetting memories of his dad leaving him without even saying goodbye. And, well, you know the rest.

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CREDIT: Disney

15) The Rescuers, Disney, 1977

The only way you're not going to absolutely love this film is if you're terrified of mice. And even then, sweet little Bernard and Miss Bianca might win you round.A terrified little orphan girl has been kidnapped by a nasty woman who keeps crocodiles as pets (I mean, come on), and who is looking to steal the world's biggest diamond. The little girl sends a message in a bottle in the hope of being rescued, which gets picked up by Miss Bianca and Bernard at the United Nations Mouse Division and they go on a quest to rescue her. It's heart-warming and thrilling in equal measures.

Other actresses in the running for the role were Chloe Grace Moretz, who apparently pulled out of the film so that she could "take a break" and "reassess" the types of roles she wanted to play.

The Greatest Showman's Zendaya was also apparently in the running, and although she never addressed the rumours, it was reported that she'd "been offered the role". She reached out after Halle's casting to congratulate her on Twitter.

Who is Halle Bailey?

Halle Bailey is a 19-year-old singer who performs with her sister Chloe under the band name Chloe x Halle. The girls were born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in L.A., California. They first started out doing covers of their favourite songs on YouTube, and after singing Beyoncé's 'Pretty Hurts', were contacted by none other than the singer herself and were signed to her label, Parkwood Entertainment.

After releasing their debut EP, 'Sugar Symphony', in April 2016, they joined Beyoncé to support the European leg of her 'The Formation World Tour' later that year. They also performed as the opening act of Beyoncé's 'On The Run II' tour with her husband Jay-Z in 2018.

Their song 'Warrior', which appeared on their debut album 'The Kids Are Alright' in 2018, was used for Disney's film A Wrinkle In Time starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. The sisters are also actresses, and star in Grown-ish - a spin-off of US TV show Black-ish, and perform the theme song.

Chloe x Halle performing in April 2019
©Chloe x Halle performing in April 2019 © Getty Images

Speaking to in August 2019, Halle revealed that the role was a dream come true for her. She said, "It means so much to me. I feel very honoured and really grateful for the opportunity. Ariel was one of my favourite princesses growing up so it’s a dream come true. I’m very excited and happy."

Her sister Chloe told Entertainment Tonight, "My sister is so incredibly talented and I can’t wait for the world to see what I see every single day. ‘I am just so proud of her. It’s going to be really good."

Who's in the cast of the live action The Little Mermaid?

So far, only Halle has been announced as Ariel, but there are plenty of other rumours for the casting...

Who is playing Ursula in the live action The Little Mermaid?

Melissa McCarthy has been heavily rumoured to play Ursula in the live-action remake, and said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel that she'd love to do it, "I hadn’t heard about that. It seems like it would be an awfully fun thing to do. I’d love if Disney gave me a little ringy-dingy."

But she then turned to directly face the camera, in a way that made viewers certain that it was happening, saying, "We’ll see. If It did it would be very wonderful, Disney."

It's not only Melissa who'd love to be Ursula in the film - 'Juice' singer Lizzo has also thrown her hat into the ring! In October, she tweeted a video of herself practising an evil laugh with the caption, 'Just gonna put this back out there. 🗣IT IS MY DREAM TO PLAY URSULA IN THE LIL MERMAID Here’s my audition tape... @Disney.' [sic]

She also filmed herself in full Ursula get-up for Halloween and posted a video singing Ursula's signature tune, 'Poor Unfortunate Souls'.

Who will play King Triton in the live action The Little Mermaid?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Skyfall actor Javier Bardem is 'in talks' to play King Triton.

However, Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews has launched an online campaign to portray the role. He first posted two Photoshopped pictures of himself - one with a long, white beard and fish tale, and another cartoon version, writing, 'IF YALL LIKE THIS ENOUGH MAYBE IT’LL HAPPEN! 🧜🏾‍♀️🧜🏾‍♂️ KING TRITON! 🔱 #TerryForTriton #MermanLife #LikeItThenWatchAGT #AmericasGotTerry.' [sic]

He then posted a hilarious video of himself singing the famous 'Under The Sea' from the original, with added bubbles and waves! He wrote, 'SINGING AUDITION: under the sea! under the sea! my pecs are better, my triton is bigger, take it from me!'

Who will play Prince Eric in the live action The Little Mermaid?

One Direction star Harry Styles is reportedly set to play Prince Eric according to The Hollywood Reporter. Harry, who made his film debut in Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' in 2017, is in "early negotiations" to take on the role.

Who will play Chef Louis in the live action The Little Mermaid?

It's not even been confirmed that Chef Louis will appear in the rebooted version of the film, but fans of the original are desperately calling for Gordon Ramsay to have a cameo as the angry chef.

Taking to Twitter, fans of Disney suggested Gordon is the only man for the job, with one excitedly writing, 'PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN I WON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING EVER AGAIN I SWEAR JUST PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN', whilst another tweeted, 'Ok so, I think Gordon should play the angry chef. He would be really good!'.

Chef Louis
©© Disney

When will the live action The Little Mermaid be released?

Although there's no official release date yet, it is being reported that the film will be appearing in cinemas in 2020.

Will the original songs be used in the live action The Little Mermaid?

Alan Menken wrote the music for the original film, and is returning to the film to team up with Hamilton superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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