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Little Mermaid: Melissa McCarthy wrapping tentacles around Ursula role in remake
Poor unfortunate souls! The Mouse House may be turning Melissa McCarthy into Ursula, the tentacled and diabolical sea-witch, for Disney's upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Per Variety, the Ghostbusters alum is in early talks to play the iconic villain (originally voiced by Pat Carroll), who gives Ariel human legs in exchange for the princess' beautiful singing voice.
Speculation and dream casting based around the character's casting has been running high ever since Disney announced that it would be remaking the harbinger of its animation Renaissance era of the late '80s and all of the '90s. SYFY's own Fangrrls floated a few possibles ideas such as Meryl Streep, Cynthia Erivo, and Queen Latifah.
Rob Marshall is attached to direct the feature, which will be his fourth film for Disney after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Into the Woods (2014), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). Given his success with Poppins in particular, Marshall has proven that he has what it takes to breathe new cinematic life into old classics.
While the project (a mixture of CGI and live-action) will use songs from the 1989 animated version, it will also feature original tracks by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken. Both Marshall and Miranda are on board as producers, too. Mary Poppins Returns and Life of Pi scribe David Magee penned the script.
There's no set premiere date for the film yet. McCarthy next stars in Warner Bros.' film adaptation of The Kitchen alongside Elisabeth Moss and Tiffany Haddish. That movie, based on Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle's graphic novel of the same name was directed by Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton) and opens in theaters August 9.
Disney's next "live-action" remake is Jon Favreau's The Lion King, which opens July 19.