Some poor unfortunate soul will face off with Melissa McCarthys tentacles in the next big Disney adaptation. According to Variety, the Oscar-nominated Can You Ever Forgive Me? Star is taking her brand (slightly) family-friendly with the villainous role of Ursula in an as-yet undated adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
The deal is not yet complete, but would mark the first official casting for the remake, which follows such similar live-action adaptations as Beauty and the Beast and this years Aladdin and Lion King. The undersea favorite will be directed by Mary Poppins Returns helmer Rob Marshall, with Lin-Manuel Miranda joining original composer Alan Menken for an updated roster of songs from the 1989 hit.
The original sea-witch Ursula was famously voiced by Pat Carroll and modeled after the late drag queen icon Divine. The character also takes on a human appearance in the 1989 film (voiced by Jodi Benson), leaving it unclear if McCarthy would play both sides of the role. Casting speculation for the new adaptation has run rampant—most recently with rapper Lizzo clamoring for the part—while stars ranging from Lady Gaga to Bette Midler have been tossed forth.
Casting rumors for the main roles of Ariel, her undersea friends, Prince Eric and King Triton have been likewise varied. According to Varietys write-up, “Disney and the production team behind it are looking to make contemporary and compelling casting choices, while still paying homage to the beloved animated original.”
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