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Disney announces new Ariel for live-action 'Little Mermaid': Halle Bailey

R&B star Halle Bailey will make her feature film debut as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid."
Disney is planning a new version of its beloved animated classic.
Disney is planning a new version of its beloved animated classic.Disney
/ Source: TODAY

Disney's live-action version of "The Little Mermaid" has found its Ariel.

Halle Bailey, one-half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, will go "under the sea" to play the title character in the remake of "The Little Mermaid."

"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," director Rob Marshall said in a statement.

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Halle Bailey (right) and Chloe Bailey are bandmates in the singing duo Chloe x Halle.Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images,

The film will mark Bailey's feature film debut. The singer confirmed the news in a tweet and said it was a "dream come true."

Production on the live-action movie is set to begin early next year. There's been no official word yet on who will play other key characters in the classic story, including Prince Eric, Sebastian and super villain Ursula.

Jodi Benson voiced Ariel in the 1989 animated film. In February, she celebrated the film's 30-year anniversary by voicing famous lines for TODAY.

Though she was animated as Ariel, Benson said the film is so beloved to fans that her voice still gets her recognized.

While some of the popular tunes from the 1989 classic will remain in the remake, Lin-Manuel Miranda has signed on to write new songs.

Disney said it's planning to make additional announcements regarding the film in the coming weeks.