Our condolences to Lindsay Lohan: Halle Bailey has officially nabbed the lead role of Ariel in Disney's upcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid. She might not be a redhead, the 19-year-old is most definitely qualified; after all, it was none other than Beyoncé who first discovered her, via Bailey's group with her sister, Chloe x Halle. Since signing to Beyoncé's label, their fanbase has expanded to include Michelle Obama—and viewers of Grown-ish, which they star in as twin track stars. (They also wrote, produced, and performed the show's theme song.)
According to Variety, director Rob Marshall may have been on the hunt for a star for months, but Bailey has always been the clear front runner from the start. "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," he said in a statement.
Indeed, Disney hasn't always prized actual singing ability when it comes to casting it's recent string of live action reboots, so the fact that Bailey more than has the vocal ability for the role comes as a welcome relief. Especially considering that the quality of Arielle's voice is such a key component of the plot.
The Little Mermaid will mark Bailey's feature film debut. (Her cameos in Lemonade, apparently, don't officially count.) A team including Lin-Manuel Miranda is working on new music, though the reboot will still of course feature classics from the original, which was released in 1989—more than a decade before Bailey was born.
Still, Bailey might not be the youngest on set. Jacob Tremblay, who's all of 12 years old, is rumored to be joining the cast, as is Awkwafina. As for whether or not Melissa McCarthy will be confirmed for the role of Ursula, well, us poor, unfortunate souls will just have to stay tuned.