Melissa McCarthy is going under the sea.
The actress is in talks to play Ursula, one of the biggest villains in Disney’s pantheon, for the studio’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Rob Marshall is directing.
The pic is the next in line in Disney’s strategy of remaking its classic animated movies into live-action (or in the case of the upcoming The Lion King, photo-realistic) features. Aladdin, released in May, crossed the $800 million mark a week ago.
Ron Clements and John Musker were behind the 1989 original, which won best original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken. For the new iteration of the fairytale, Menken will team with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Menken will compose and Miranda write the lyrics).
The animated movie loosely retold the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of a mermaid named Ariel who yearns to be human after she falls in love with a prince. Ariel makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula, who grants her wish but takes her voice.
Miranda will produce alongside Marc Platt, who worked with Marshall on Returns and executive produced Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin remake. Marshall and John DeLuca are also producing Little Mermaid.
McCarthy, who is repped by CAA, will next be seen in New Line’s crime drama The Kitchen and the action-comedy Superintelligence.