Disney+ is headed under the sea! The streaming service officially announced that the highly anticipated live-action Little Mermaid is in the works.

It was first announced that Halle Bailey of Chloe x Halle and Grown-ish fame would take on the starring role as Ariel in July 2019. “I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity,” the actress told Variety following the announcement. “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”

During a separate interview with Cosmopolitan in September 2020, Halle opened up about what it was like to have sister Chloe Bailey‘s support when it came to playing Ariel. “Whenever we’re apart, I feel like my right arm is missing,” the singer said of their sisterly bond. “I say this all the time: I’m not sure what I would do if I was by myself going through this whole thing.”

Halle noted that Chloe moved to the U.K. so they could be together while shooting, before production was put on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. She told Cosmo, “Whenever individual opportunities come, it’s exciting because when one of us wins, the other one does too.”

Since then, fans have been on the edge of their seats waiting to see who would bring these animated icons to life, and the time has finally come. In a December 2020 Instagram announcement, Disney shared the full cast list, which includes Jonah Hauer-King, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem. The network also revealed that Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda would be working on new original music for the flick! Although no official release date has been announced just yet, Just Jared Jr. obtained photos of Halle as Ariel for the first time in June 2021.

The pictures come after Norma Dumezweni (whose role has been kept under wraps) teased her experience on set during a May 2021 interview with Variety. The actress called Halle and Jonah “f–king adorable” and shared that “they’re just so sweet together.”

“There’s a moment when the camera zooms in and you see both of them,” Norma recalled. “I was watching on a monitor and was like, ‘If that’s not iconic, I have no taste.’”

After the stars officially wrapped filming on the flick, Halle took to Twitter and shared a heartfelt message about her experience on set. “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 … I feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory,” the actress shared.

Scroll through our gallery to meet the star-studded cast!

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