×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Melissa McCarthy in Talks to Play Ursula in Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Melissa McCarthy may be ready to help some poor unfortunate souls in Disney’s live-action version of “The Little Mermaid.”

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.

POPULAR ON VARIETY:

More Film

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Live-Action 'Pinocchio' for Disney (EXCLUSIVE)

    Robert Zemeckis is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio.” Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce through their company Depth of Field with Weitz penning the script. “Paddington” director Paul King had originally been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content