R&B singer Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s forthcoming live-adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’ after an extensive search of young talent.

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ helmer Rob Marshall is in the director’s chair for the live-action reimagining. Disney and the production team behind it are looking to make contemporary and compelling casting choices, while still paying homage to the beloved animated original.

“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,” says Marshall.

Melissa McCarthy is currently in talks to play Ursula while Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina have already joined the cast in undisclosed roles.

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The film will use some of the original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new ones from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is also producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca. David Magee wrote the script.#

The film tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who dreams of becoming human, after falling in love with a human prince named Eric. Written and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Menken wrote the music, including the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.”

It featured the voices of Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett, and René Auberjonois.

The film made a staggering $84 million at the domestic box office during its initial release and $233 million in total lifetime gross worldwide.

Production is due to begin early 2020.