'The Little Mermaid' Reveals First Look At Halle Bailey As Ariel As Filming Wraps

Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has been in the works for five years, and singer/actress Halle Bailey was cast in the lead role at the tail end of 2019. (Get it? "Tail" end? She's playing a mermaid, and mermaids have tails!) We're now mid-way through 2021 and filming on the movie has finally come to an end, and today Bailey shared the first look at her iteration of the headstrong and adventurous Ariel to mark the occasion.

The Little Mermaid First Look

"And just like that, that's a wrap," Bailey wrote in a post on Twitter accompanied by this photo. "After auditioning for this film when I was 18 just about to turn 19, to now finishing filming through a pandemic when I turned 21...we have finally made it," she wrote. "I feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory."

As for the photo itself, while the setting looks beautiful, the sun keeps Bailey in a prominent silhouette giving us only a hint of what to expect when we finally get to see her on the big screen. Her mermaid tale will almost certainly be augmented with CGI, but her hair doesn't seem to be the iconic bright red of the animated character from the Ron Clements and John Musker-directed 1989 movie, which kicked off the Disney Renaissance and ushered in a new "wave" of animation domination for the studio. I'm sure a very small but loud contingent of Little Mermaid "purists" will continue to freak out over the fact that a Black woman has been cast in the role, but for people who actually have lives and priorities and a healthy relationship to the content we consume, Bailey's casting remains an exciting prospect.

Rob Marshall (ChicagoMary Poppins Returns) directs this live-action remake, which will feature songs from the animated original by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by the returning Menken (music) as well as the "he's so hot right now" Lin-Manuel Miranda (lyrics). Actor Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog's Way Home) will play Eric, Melissa McCarthy (Spy) plays Ursula the sea witch, and Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) portrays King Triton, while the film will utilize the voice talents of Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay (Doctor Sleep) as Flounder, and Awkwafina (The Farewell) as Scuttle.The Little Mermaid does not have an official release date yet.