At the beginning of last month, Disney found their Ariel for the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid in the form of Halle Bailey. As always, there was some mumbling online about whether remaking the animated classic is a good idea, but a larger, more vocal number of people blasted the studio for casting a black actress as a character originally portrayed as Caucasian.
Thankfully, a flood of folks happy with Bailey’s casting soon shut down the dissenters, with Hollywood stars pouring in their support for the actress as well – including Bailey’s near namesake Halle Berry and the animated Ariel voice actress Jodi Benson. For the first time since she joined the project, Bailey has now addressed the online negativity herself in an interview with Variety.
The star commented that she’s still so over the moon to have been hired to play Ariel that she hasn’t paid attention to any of the critical reactions on the internet. And honestly, that’s probably the healthiest thing to do.
“I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful, and I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like, you know, this role was something bigger than me and greater. And it’s gonna be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
Bailey will be joined in the remake by Melissa McCarthy as evil sea witch Ursula, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as a gender-flipped Scuttle. Harry Styles and Javier Bardem are also said to be in talks to play Ariel’s love Prince Eric and her father King Triton, respectively. However, we haven’t had it 100% confirmed whether both actors have officially signed up for the movie yet.
Mary Poppins Returns‘ Rob Marshall will direct, with production kicking off in early 2020. In the meantime, tell us, what are your feelings on The Little Mermaid remake? Swim on over to the comments section and share your opinions.