There was a lot of confusion when it was announced Halle Bailey would play Ariel in The Little Mermaid; the Grown-ish star and one-half of R&B group ChloexHalle's name was immediately confused for Halle Berry, and the online reactions to that confusion has been quite hilarious so far.
The Little Mermaid is part of the recent wave of live-action remakes being made by Disney. By the end of 2019, Disney will have released five live-action remakes, and they don't plan on slowing down anytime soon. The studio already has live-action remakes of Mulan and Cruella coming in the near future, with plenty more in development. But one of the most talked about movies from Disney has been The Little Mermaid. While actresses such as Zendaya and Chloe Grace Moretz have reportedly been in the running for the role, Bailey managed to land the gig today.
Bailey being cast in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is huge. So, naturally, there were plenty of reactions on Twitter that processed the landmark news. As the tweets rolled in, reactions initially seemed confused about why Berry, a woman in her 50s, would have signed on to play a teenage mermaid in a movie musical. It seems folks may have either skimmed the headlines too quickly or didn't immediately recognize Bailey's name, switching the names around in their mind in some kind of Freudian slip. Whatever may have happened, it wasn't long after Bailey's casting was announced, and the confusion ensued, that people began to realize Berry wasn't cast in the movie at all.
I misread this and thought for a moment that George Bailey's brother Harry from It's A Wonderful Life had been cast. Whoops. https://t.co/jSeTOB6lVq— Alex Leadbeater (@ADLeadbeater) July 3, 2019
We are all in this "HALLE BERRY!?" collective heart attack together.— Kevin Fallon (@kpfallon) July 3, 2019
(Halle Bailey, however, is an inspired choice for this!!!)https://t.co/1ofqvmptLV
Halle Berry is boutta be real confused at all the "Congrats on The Little Mermaid!" messages heading her way.— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) July 3, 2019
I can't be the only person who saw news that "Halle Bailey is The Little Mermaid" and got very confused because my mind misspelled her last name to make it read "Halle Berry is The Little Mermaid," right?— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) July 3, 2019
I love Halle Bailey and I’m so excited but reading the release quickly I was like “oh wow Halle Berry is the Little Mermaid, bold choice”— Rachel Paige (@rachmeetsworld) July 3, 2019
If you read it as “Halle Berry is the Little Mermaid” that tells me you need to listen to more @ChloexHalle. Which you should do!— jen yamato (@jenyamato) July 3, 2019
In the LITTLE MERMAID remake starring Halle Berry, Ariel is an adult defying the figurative patriarchy in her quest to marry the Prince Eric of her dreams.— Aisha Harris (@craftingmystyle) July 3, 2019
She's not a part of your system!
Up until THE LITTLE MERMAID is released, I have a feeling I might end up exaggerating Halle Bailey's last name so I don't mistakenly call her Halle Berry.— Matthew St.Clair (@filmguy619) July 3, 2019
I definitely didn’t read that Little Mermaid casting news and have the first reaction of “How are we going to make a 52 year old Halle Berry play a 16 year old.” pic.twitter.com/jf4betFlaA— Nicole (@SansaStarkss) July 3, 2019
Previous to Bailey's casting announcement, Disney had been looking at other Little Mermaid cast members, too. Early in the first week of July, it was reported Melissa McCarthy was in talks to play Ursula. Just one day after, Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay were also added to the cast. In addition to McCarthy playing Ursula, Awkwafina will likely be cast to play Scuttle, the seagull who teaches Ariel to be human, while Tremblay will play Flounder, Ariel's faithful yellow-and-blue fish friend. There's still no word on other key casting announcements, including who will play love interest Prince Eric and Ariel's father, King Triton.
Even though Berry will not be playing a mermaid, it doesn't mean The Little Mermaid is going to be a let-down. Quite the opposite, in fact. Bailey's casting in this live-action remake will be a boon to her already booming career, which has been on the rise since she and her singing partner, twin sister Chloe Bailey, were chosen to open for Beyoncé on the European leg of her Formation world tour back in 2016. With The Little Mermaid, Bailey will help re-introduce the world of the animated film to a new audience, put her singing skills to good use, and play one of the most iconic Disney princesses.