After a long search, Disney’s forthcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid has found its Ariel. The plum role has gone to singer-actress Halle Bailey, up to this point best known for being one half of R&B duo Chloe x Halle. But the news got social media more than a little mixed up, as they briefly thought that the part had gone to similarly named Academy Award-winning actor Halle Berry.
Berry is an incredibly versatile actor, but perhaps not the most obvious choice to play a lovelorn teenage mermaid. As such, many were confused and here are some of the best reactions:
I read this tweet like 5 times trying to figure out how they were going to pull off Halle Berry as a 16-year-old https://t.co/PY3RPwzH1R
— Nfinit (@Nfinit) July 3, 2019
I read it too fast and read her name as Halle Berry and was about to have QUESTIONS lol.
(not that I would hate that casting by any means)
— Florida Woman (@notTHATalexa) July 3, 2019
I don't know who this is, but it isnt Halle BERRY, and I can't decide if I'm disappointed. https://t.co/ZaqN9y8uRQ
— Dude, why MY car?! (@trainsongcomics) July 3, 2019
For a moment, I thought that said “Halle Berry as Ariel” and I was like… pic.twitter.com/cg8mpPMpip
— Jonathan Apollo (@IAmJonnyApollo) July 3, 2019
I KEEP READING HER NAME AS HALLE BERRY
— Kelly ?? (@hughesytweets) July 3, 2019
Halle Berry looks great for her age wow https://t.co/34cptXbz8i
— Alice (@txicmelody13) July 3, 2019
Halle Berry as the sea witch in human form maybe.
But not the Ariel character at this age.
— Good Guy, No Bodies in the Basement, Congenial (@XRobsPunchinBag) July 3, 2019
Definitely misread the Ariel casting as "Halle Berry" and was completely befuddled for a good, few, dozen, FIFTYLEVEN, minutes.
— Mandel (@ThaDeezo) July 3, 2019
I thought that said Halle Berry and I was thinking she was a little old to play Ariel.
— Meisterbuerger (@meisterbuerger) July 3, 2019
Me, trying to comprehend this post for 2 minutes: ‘That… isn’t Halle Berry though??’
— Meda (@A_smallrobot) July 3, 2019
I suspect this role will propel Bailey to stardom (after which people will stop getting the two Halles mixed up) and a brief glimpse at her singing on YouTube proves that she’s more than got the pipes for the role.
Rob Marshall is set to direct, and made a statement on Bailey’s casting, saying that:
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.
She’ll join an impressive roster that features Melissa McCarthy as sinister octopus-lady Ursula, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as the seagull Scuttle. With The Lion King now just a few weeks away from release, expect some more details to come out about the movie very soon. This production is certain to have a heavy focus on CGI to create Ariel’s underwater world, so I’d imagine the first shots we’ll see of it will either come from the sequences set on land or when Disney decides to release production photos.
Whatever the case, The Little Mermaid is one of the studio’s most beloved animated classics, considered to have ushered in a new golden age for their animation arm after the doldrums of the mid 1980s. I’ve always had a soft spot for the film and its lead character, too, so personally, I can’t wait to see what Marshall and Bailey deliver.