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Amid talks that Melissa McCarthy will take on the role of Ursula in Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid, the actress poked fun at the rumors during her Monday night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“I read that you are going to be a part of the live-action remake of Little Mermaid,” Kimmel began inquiring. McCarthy interrupted and asked, “What’s that?”
“I hadn’t heard about that. It seems like it will be an awfully fun thing to do. I’d love if Disney gave me a little ringy-ding-ding,” McCarthy quipped.
“We’ll see,” then added as she proceeded to wink at the camera. “If it did happen, it would be very wonderful, Disney,” she said as she jokingly enunciated her words.
McCarthy then explained that the role would be fitting because The Little Mermaid is a Disney film she has great familiarity with, because of years of serving as a nanny when the original film released. She recalled watching the film “every single night for about a year and a half” while baby-sitting. “I know it to my core, and I weirdly still love it.”
She also admitted that should she star, her kids would advise her to not “embarrass” them with her portrayal.
The pic is the next in line in Disney’s strategy of remaking its classic animated movies into live-action features. It follows the recent adaptations of Aladdin and The Lion King.
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 fairy tale, Menken will team with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Menken will compose and Miranda will write the lyrics).
The animated movie loosely retold the Hans Christian Andersen 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.
Halle Bailey, who with her sister forms R&B duo Chloe x Halle, has nabbed the starring role in the live-action remake directed by Rob Marshall and will play the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land. Meanwhile, singer Harry Styles of One Direction fame is in early negotiations to play the role of Prince Eric. Javier Bardem is in talks to take on the role of King Triton.
Alongside McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are also in talks to star and lend their voices to other live-action and CG parts.
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 The 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.
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