Channing Tatum, Jillian Bell to Star in ‘Splash’ Remake for Disney

Splash Channing Tatum Jillian Bell

Disney is in early discussions with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment about rebooting “Splash,” one of the production banner’s early classics. Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell are attached to star in the remake written by Maria Lewis-Ryan.

The original film follows a young man (played by Tom Hanks) who reunites with a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who saved him from drowning as a boy. He falls in love with her, not knowing who/what she is. In this version, Tatum will actually play the mermaid who saves Bell as a girl only to reunite with her years later.

The 1984 romantic comedy marked the first major hit for Grazer and Howard, and essentially led to the launch of their Imagine Entertainment. Grazer and Howard will return to produce this reimagining along with Free Association’s Tatum, Reid Carolin, and Peter Kieran. Imagine’s Anna Culp will be the executive producer.

Tatum just wrapped production on “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and is about to start filming on “Logan Lucky.” He is repped by UTA and Management 360.

Bell can be seen next in DreamWorks’ “Office Christmas Party.” She is repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 42

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Natalie says:

    Disney movie? Channing Tatum as a merman? Yep, how many moms will be running to that movie with their kids…and more than once? Me for one! LOL

  2. Debbie Ellison says:

    I personally think channing tatum would be a perfect merman in the remake of the movie “splash” i don’t know why people have a problem with adjusting to women or men changing the gender for a movie..doesn’t the world want something different to watch, than to see the same thing over and over again!!!

    • athveg34f says:

      I don’t know why so many have that problem either. Times ARE changing, we all evolve, society evolves, and it always has evolved. I think the gender-switch idea works great for a movie like Splash.

      Fingers crossed that the rampant Reddit misogyny brigade doesn’t ruin this film like they tried with Ghostbusters ’16. I don’t think men could recover if they went down that dark path again.

  3. smee says:

    I’ve never wanted anything more

  4. Cliff McSparran says:

    Not sure if it’s Variety’s fault, but the tag-line which brought me to this page was, “‘Splash’ Remake: Channing Tatum to Play Mermaid for Disney | Variety.” To what depths has “journalism” sunk?

  5. athveg34f says:

    This is going to be awesome. A lot of old fogeys forget that the young and/or middle-aged people of today may never have seen the original Splash, just like many of today’s younger people never saw the original Ghostbusters. Younger people LOVED the 2016 Ghostbusters and didn’t really get into the old people’s whining over the reboot.

    Tatum would make a superb menman, and I can’t believe Jillian Bell will be starring alongside him! Curious pairing, but I am really, really into it!

    • Ms.Anthrope says:

      Simply put, classics don’t need to be updated nor redone. And it’s sad that you don’t get that. You are being spoon fed swill and calling it a sundae. Just so they can steal as much as your money with very little cost to themselves. This is going to be a monumental fail like the rest off them, yet you’re going to go for it hook line and sinker, which is exactly what they want. There’s more than one reason they call you the worst generation in history, and this is just one of those reasons. Can’t wait for you to have to deal with the next generation… if there’s a planet left. Do the world a solid favor, don’t breed.

  6. jlb says:

    This is fantastic, I know a lot of people are complaining about it, but then again, the people complaining obviously have no IDEA how many millions of global fans there are of the three seasons of the Australian mermaid show “H2O: Just Add Water” (78 episodes) and it’s spinoff series “Mako: Island of Secrets” (68 episodes). “Mako” by the way featured not one but TWO mermen on it, so I say, more power to Channing as a merman, and I applaud this.

  7. RR says:

    Seriously cannot think of a worse reboot/remake or whatever new term out-of-good-ideas film companies are calling their slaughter of classics these days. There is NOTHING appealing about a merman so I can only imagine/hope they’re going to make him the joke of the movie. I’m totally embarrassed for Channing Tatum. He is definitely showing the world that he needs any film role he can get to desperately try and become big-time. I just don’t see it happening since his acting is judged more than his abs by main audiences. We really do care about good acting for the price that box office tickets are going for these days. Sadly…this isn’t even a good enough film idea to make audiences ignore the bad acting.

    • athveg34f says:

      Oh? “There is NOTHING appealing about a merman”? That is what you call “SPEAKING FOR YOURSELF”. I know many people find the idea appealing. Because it DOES appeal to many — if not MOST — people. Just because you don’t like something is no re4ason to assume everyone is a closed-minded bore like yourself. Try as you might to erase and belittle women’s likes and wants, but we’re going to keep liking and wanting things you might not want. Get back to me if anyone tries to force you to watch this movie against your wishes.

      This might be the first Channing Tatum film I actually like.

    • EB says:

      “There is NOTHING appealing about a merman.” What’s objectively ‘appealing’ about a mermaid that isn’t about a merman? I’d genuinely be really interested in your answer.

  8. Ima Right says:

    not only can’t hollyweird come up with anything original the take these remakes like Ghostbuttsters
    with women in the men’s role and now this making a man mermaid? some more left wing gay
    lesbo transgender garbage being forced on americans especially kids! BOYCOTT! let it BOMB
    like Ghostbuttsters did! and it was a bomb. if people stop going see this garbage they’ll stop!
    take your kids and family to see the Hellary Movie! and see what that she devil really is!

    • athveg34f says:

      A.) Ghostbusters did not bomb; it was sabotaged left and right from the HIMsterical misogynists, yes. But enough intelligent people still saw it and loved it (and bought the lady Ghostbuster action figures too)!
      B.) Who do you think you are to demand that movies obey your narrow-minded views? If you don’t like something, don’t see it! What you DON’T do is whine on the Internet against LGBTQs, people of different races, non-Gentiles, and women every time an idea happens that doesn’t make your Jim Crow-lovin’ heart sing.

      I personally never liked Hillary Clinton, nor anything left-wing really, but you disgusting, hate-mongering p.o.s’s have ruined the GOP for actual Conservatives like me. Not only will I see your “Hellary” movie, I’ll actually be voting for the woman herself ths November, because it’s the only way to stem dangerous idiots like you from getting any real power… and by ‘real’, I mean ‘w-h-i-t-e’.

      Personally can’t wait to see Channing and Jillian in this film. Too bad there probably won’t be action figures ;)

    • spiderly says:

      oh, my heart breaks for you, overly-represented misogynist homophobic cis white male.

    • Herb says:

      you need help

  9. JR says:

    If you tell me that John Candy’s part is going to be played by Jonah Hill, I will hunt you down and vomit in your mouth.

  10. Paul says:

    Seriously? Splash is a fun 80s nostalgia pic, but does this really need to be remade? Is Hollywood really out of totally original ideas? I love Channing and he deserves WAY better than this.

  11. Barf. I don’t know what else to say.

  12. Manuel Nogueira says:

    As I said to a previous poster, you don’t have to be mean to or insulting to make your point. So don’t. It’s demeaning not to her but to yourself.

  13. Anti-reboot says:

    Stop rebooting, lazy Hollywood fcks

  14. Manuel Nogueira says:

    I’m usually against reboots and remakes, not as a principle, but because as a rule most of it (I would say 99,99% of it) suck big time. There are exceptions, of course, such as The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Ten Comandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), The Magnificent Seven (1960), My Fair Lady (1964), John Carpenter’s The Thing (1981) or David Cronemberg’s The Fly (1986) to name but a few. But they only serve to prove the rule – remakes and reboots almost always suck big time. However, the idea behind this one is actually intriguing – a merman, instead of a mermaid. That’s a first (if I’m wrong, please correct me, for I love films about mythological creatures and would love to see more). And the director and the producer of the original are on board to produce this one, so that helps. It’s the actor chosen to play the merman that makes fear for this film. Channing Tatum is a good looking guy, but lets face it, he has the acting talent of a door (he acts every role the exact same way, just as door only does one thing – it gets open and shut over and over again the exact same way). To play a merman, you have to have more than just the right fisique, you need talent as well – remenber, you have to portray a mythological being in the middle of a 21st century metropolis such as New York, not an easy job. I fear this will suck big time. Of course, we’ll have to wait until the release of the film to see if that’s true. Of course, the memories of the original will remain intact, either way – the film is there for any of us to watch and re-watch again, and will always be one of the best romantic comedies not ony of the 80’s but of all times.
    But seriously though, Hollywood has to stop this hemorrahge of remakes and reboots. It’s getting seriously both ridiculous and out of control. What’s next, a remake or a reboot of ET? Where are your original ideas, Hollywood?

  15. A Concerned Reader says:

    Please, please, PLEASE !!! Edit the article to read Merman instead of Mermaid! Unless Channing really is going to be a “MAID” from “la mer” (you know, the sea?). Please!!!!

  16. No. Just pleaseeeee. NOOO

  17. Manuel Nogueira says:

    Well, Tom Hanks was very nerdy looking in the original and it worked, Honestly, that’s not my biggest issue with this – in fact, it’s probably the only way this will ever have a chance to work, pairing an handsome male character with a nerdy looking but still pretty female one (and Jillian Bell may not be the most beautifull actress in the buisiness, but she is pretty). And you don’t have to be mean to make your point.

  18. Patricia Lin says:

    Merman *cough cough cough cough* MERMAN!

  19. David Orsini says:

    Channing Tatum will play a merman, not a mermaid. Mr. Tatum & Ms. Bell will make a romantic pairing.

  20. Caligula says:

    Tatum has dead eyes…

  21. Oh this is going to be good!!!

  22. HDPR says:

    Is this a joke?

  23. Emily Benson says:


  24. Raphael H says:

    Sounds great, I love mermaid stories, and the idea of a gender flipped tale about a merman sounds really interesting.

    I don’t care about the fact this is a remake. I care about the fact this film is about a mermaid, and you can’t get too many of those…

  25. Madison Madison says:


  26. Whodatninja says:

    LEAVE THIS ALONE. And Tatum? Barf.

  27. Spider says:

    ….And, here’s another reboot no one is asking for.

  28. Bob says:

    Hey, why not? “Ghostbusters” has gone girly, why can’t “Splash” be about a merman? Cool!

More Film News from Variety