The majority of Disney’s live-action remakes tend to fall into three distinct camps when it comes to assembling their respective casts. Option A is to throw a major star in the lead role and hope for the best as we saw with Johnny Depp in the Alice in Wonderland duology, Angelina Jolie’s outings as Maleficent and Emma Stone’s recent turn in Cruella.
Option B gathers an all-star roster together when the project in question is almost entirely animated in Jon Faveau duo The Jungle Book and The Lion King, while Option C tends to see an unproven or untested lead lent support by at least a couple of big stars. Following in the footsteps of Lily James’ Cinderella, Mena Massoud’s Aladdin, and Yifei Liu’s Mulan, Halle Bailey will play the title heroine in Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid, which is currently in the midst of production.
Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy will provide the star power as Ariel’s father King Triton and arch-nemesis Ursula, and some new set photos have arrived that show Bailey in character for her first-ever major feature film role, which you can check out below.
BREAKING: New photos of Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s 'THE LITTLE MERMAID'
— cosmic (@cosmic_marvel) June 21, 2021
The jury is still out on whether or not the 21-year-old has the necessary acting chops to headline such a massive project, something that may become a recurring theme of the upcoming remake slate. Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio has Tom Hanks as Gepetto opposite unknown quantity Benjamin Evan Ainsworth in the lead, while David Lowery’s Peter Pan & Wendy will have Jude Law chewing on the scenery as Captain Hook as he faces off with Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson’s titular duo, but The Little Mermaid is at least virtually guaranteed a box office bonanza given the enduring popularity of the animated original.