Melissa McCarthy in Talks to Play Ursula in Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’

Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play the villainous Ursula in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid,’ reports The Wrap. Based on 1989 animated musical of the same name, the reboot will be directed by Rob Marshall who is known for ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’ Disney’s casting team reportedly put so much effort to assemble a contemporary cast while paying tribute to the animated classic.

David Magee adapted the screenplay for the upcoming flick which will feature original songs from the 1989 predecessor as well as brand-new music rendered by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The project reunites Miranda with Disney after their 2016 outing together, ‘Moana.’ Miranda will produce ‘The Little Mermaid’ along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca.

The plot follows a teen mermaid Princess Ariel who falls for a charming human Prince Eric. She wants to live with him on land and seeks help with Ursula, the sea witch. She grants Ariel’s wish but asks the princess’s soulful voice in return. The original movie also featured hit songs including the Oscar-winning ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘Part of Your World’ and ‘Kiss the Girl’ tuned by Menken. It went on to become a box office hit with a gross of $84.5M in 1989.

McCarthy will also lend her voice to one of the classic villain songs in the Disney universe, ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ in the new version. The actress rose to prominence with adult comedies such as ‘Spy,’ ‘The Heat’ and ‘Bridesmaids,’ the last of which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her last outing was the 2018 film ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ directed by Marielle Heller.
McCarthy received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her stunning portrayal Israel, a struggling writer who forges letters from prominent literary figures to revive her lukewarm career.

She will be next seen alongside Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss in the upcoming crime-comedy-drama ‘The Kitchen.’ Directed by Andrea Berloff, the movie centers three New York Suburban mothers, played by McCarthy, Haddish and Moss, who find their family lives in trouble after their husbands are booked by the cops for alleged links with the underworld. They decide to take over and continue their husbands’ rackets in order to run the families in the absence of the men.

Disney delivers back-to-back remakes of its classic animated movie repertoire as part of a shift in strategy, which has been accelerated with the humungous success of ‘Aladdin.’ The live-action remake of the magical tale of Aladdin and the Genie has grossed $820M worldwide. Another long-awaited live-action remake ‘The Lion King‘ hits theaters on July 17, 2019.

Cover Image Courtesy: Fox Searchlight Pictures (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)