Why Halle Bailey’s Casting As Little Mermaid Shocked Director Marshall

Lemme start by saying that The Little Mermaid, with Halle Bailey cast as Ariel, will be the movie of the decade! Why? Because as soon as the trailer was released, it completely took over the internet. And let’s admit, it’s because we’ll get our very own Black Disney princes!

Credit: @hallebailey

All the traction the movie is receiving simply shows how representation matters, and I, for one, couldn’t be more pleased. As soon as Disney debuted the official teaser, it got millions of views in just one weekend. The numbers right now are unimaginable.

The Little Mermaid Director Was Just As Shocked As Everyone Else

We recently discovered that even the very own director didn’t see how beautifully Halle Bailey would blossom as Ariel. We all love her! And honestly, anyone who doesn’t count. But don’t get me wrong, this is simply an opinion, and yes, we all can have one. I have never been so in love with a movie that hasn’t even come out yet.

The trailer set the motion for thousands of videos of Black women of all ages, all reacting to how they feel about finally seeing themselves as a Disney princess. The creators gave everyone a jewel without even knowing it. Yes, some backlash was gotten, but let’s not even get into that.

Credit: @hallebailey

The Little Mermaid

Strong response? Check, now let’s see what the movie is actually about. It was initially launched in the period we’ve come to call the Disney Renaissance. In recent years, we’ve seen other Disney gems being remade as live-action, so we always knew that The Little Mermaid would follow suit, and I bet it’s going to blow us all away.

When the sensation was announced as Ariel, the significant groundbreaking role, it became one of the most talked about movies. I felt like we all needed to just take a moment to appreciate this huge moment that should be remembered forever.

Credit: The Little Mermaid

Director Rob Marshall Admitting His Surprise At Halle Bailey’s Casting

Imagine how good you’d feel when your decision makes the world stop spinning. Nothing short of a surprise. I feel like it’s actually sad that Halle Bailey’s casting didn’t get all positive results. There were a lot of racist backlashes just because the previous animated character was white. That shouldn’t even count, we’re all special and the character was a fish cartoon person.

Credit: @hallebailey

Sadness thrown away, Rob Marshall was humbled by all the love Halle Bailey received when the trailer was released.

“I wasn’t anticipating that because, in a way, I felt like we’ve moved so far past that kind of thing, but then you realize, in a way, we haven’t. It was very moving to me to see how important this kind of casting is for the world.”

How beautiful is that statement? It’s such an honor for me to write this piece.

How Much This All Means To So Many

People at Disney did expect the negative backlash because, let’s face it, it’s sadly become all too common. Marshall, however, emphasized how they weren’t ready for all the positive responses. Marshall, and maybe so many more of us hadn’t just quite realized what such a simple representation would mean.

The love and support, especially from small little girls, overthrew any negativity that Halle Bailey had received.

Halle Bailey Was Just The Best Actor

The most impressive thing about Halle Bailey’s casting was that she didn’t get it because she was Black, and they weren’t purposely diversifying Disney. No, it was simply because she was the best out of many different women from many different backgrounds.

Credit: @hallebailey

“We were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end. We saw everybody and every ethnicity.”

There was no agenda, no end goal. Like every other cast, they wanted to find the right voice. According to Marshall, they chose Halle Bailey because of her “freshness.” Yes, her casting didn’t have an agenda, but we cannot ignore the waves it has brought. Beautiful waves, I may add.

The original Disney film inspires the movie, but we should expect many changes, from music to Prince Eric’s expanded role. Prepare to get your world rocked when this jewel graces our screens next year.

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