The 20-year-old actor, who is best known for playing Zoey in Black-ish and spin-off series Grown-ish, will portray the fairy in Peter Pan & Wendy, which is being written and directed by Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery.
Shahidi celebrated the news by reposting a fan drawing of herself as Tinkerbell to Instagram, writing: ‘Thank you for all of the love. It, truly, means so much to me. I’m excited for this next adventure!”
The announcement went down well with her friends and supporters, with SZA commenting: “A million times YES,” while Lily Collins wrote: “So so excited for you.”
This will be the first time that the role of Tinkerbell has been filled by a black actor, having previously been played by actors including Julia Roberts and Ludivine Sagnier.
A post shared by Yara (يارا) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on Sep 25, 2020 at 7:42pm PDT
It’s the latest move in Disney’s commitment to diversity in their live action remakes, after Chloe x Halle singer Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in forthcoming The Little Mermaid film.
Peter Pan & Wendy will star Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson as the titular children, while Jude Law will portray villain Captain Hook.
While other studios have made live action versions of JM Barrie’s classic children’s story, this will be Disney’s first attempt, with their animated version being released in 1953.