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The Little Mermaid Disney animated movie

After a prominent year for live-action Disney remakes last summer, audiences have had a bit of breathing room from the House of Mouse’s remakes of classics. The release of Mulan is around the corner, the Emma Stone-led Cruella is on the way and the studio just made a major move on Peter Pan & Wendy. Rob Marshall’s version of The Little Mermaid may be the most high-profile of them all, and it just hit a major casting anniversary. Take a look:

Yup: it’s already been one year since Halle Bailey was confirmed to be playing Ariel in the upcoming big-budget, live-action musical. Last July, the Grown-ish actress and one half of sister musical duo Chloe x Halle was announced as a Disney Princess after an extensive casting process by the production and Rob Marshall, who previously helmed Mary Poppins Returns, Chicago and Into the Woods. Bailey shared the throwback tweet with a simple message showing her continued excitement and emotion over the role with a crying emoji, red heart and sparkle.

When the casting announcement was made it was met with some backlash from some who were expecting the character to match the 1989 look for the film’s character. But Halle Bailey has also been met with support from other Ariels including the original “Part of Your World” singer Jodie Benson.

We still have yet to see Halle’s look as Ariel one year later. The movie has been kept a mystery other than its incredible ensemble cast. Melissa McCarthy is playing Ursula, Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs is Sebastian, Awkwafina will be Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay is Flounder, Javier Bardem is King Triton, and British actor Jonah Hauer-King will play Prince Eric.

The Little Mermaid was set to begin filming this year, but due to global health concerns the production was shut down back in March, along with many other films. The 20-year-old actress shared an update to Entertainment Tonight saying,

I was in London at the beginning of the year about to start filming and of course this pandemic has caused everybody to slow down... I’m so very excited for when we start back again and it’s really coming together. I just feel honored every day to think about it or even talk about it, I’m like ‘What the heck, that’s really happening?’

Lin-Manuel Miranda is working with original The Little Mermaid composer Alan Menken on some additional songs for the film as the Hamilton playwright continues his frequent collaboration with Disney. Halle Bailey just dropped her second studio album last month with her sister Chloe under their name Chloe x Halle titled Ungodly Hour. The duo was discovered by Beyoncé back in 2013 when she took notice of their cover of her song “Pretty Hurts.”

The Little Mermaid does not yet have an official release date. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more news on Disney projects.

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