Sources tell Variety that while the deal is not yet completed, McCarthy is in early talks to play the sea witch Ursula in the live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.”
As Disney preps its live-action version of the undersea tale, there’s a lot of buzz about the cast. 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.
“Mary Poppins Returns” director Rob Marshall is helming. The film will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken with lyrics by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is also producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca. David Magee wrote the script with Jane Goldman writing a previous draft.
Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing for the studio.
The original version followed a mermaid princess who sought to meet a human prince on land. Menken wrote the music, including the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.” As for McCarthy, the multi-talented actress will get her chance at singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” one of the classic villain songs in the Disney archive.
Adapting classic animated pics into live-action features is a strategy that has been going strong for the studio, most recently with its live-action remake of “Aladdin,” which has grossed $820 million worldwide. The highly anticipated remake of “The Lion King” opens next month.
This will mark one of the first family-friendly roles for McCarthy, who has built her career on adult comedies including “Spy,” “The Heat” and “Bridesmaids,” which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. She was most recently seen in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” a dramatic turn that also earned her an Oscar nomination, this time for best actress.
McCarthy is repped by CAA and MGMT Entertainment.
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