Melissa McCarthy might play as Ursula, the infamous villain who scammed Ariel, in the upcoming live-action movie of The Little Mermaid. With Disney adapting live re-makes of its classic titles, at the same time, adding new twists, will we see a different kind of Ursula through McCarthy’s comedic prowess?
Disney is looking to cast the Academy nominee for the live-action movie and is in early talks to push it into reality.
McCarthy is popularly known for her comedic skits and adult-appropriate humor from movies like the Spy, The Heat, and Bridesmaids, where she earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
McCarthy’s recent role in Can You Ever Forgive Me, a drama-centric movie, earned her another Oscar nomination, but this time for best actress.
Meanwhile, McCarthy’s rumored role, Ursula, is one of Disney’s most famous villains in the past few decades because of her camp-esque style, wit, scheming, and devilish charm, which was able to trick Ariel into a bargain, as well as, other sea creatures.
McCarthy’s humor, which is expected to be toned down since this will also be her first family-friendly movie, may complement Ursula’s character quite well—adding the twist of a gayish style.
Notably, the original Ursula was modeled after the popular drag icon Divine who starred in the theatrical version of Hairspray, though the actor passed away before he could play as Ursula in its 1989 version. Consequently, Pat Carrol played the role instead.
As of the moment, nothing final. “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.”
What is sure, however, is that Rob Marshall will be taking the helm of the live-action movie as the director. Marshall, who was also the director of the Marry Poppins sequel, “Mary Poppins Returns” is also an Academy Award nominee for his feature film debut, Chicago. He is also known for his work with “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
The director is not new to working with Walt Disney Studios movies as he also directed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Into the Woods.
Marshall will work alongside Disney’s favorite musical genius, Alan Menken, who has produced some of the classics such as Be Our Guest, Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991), A Whole New World, and Friend Like Me from Aladdin (1992).
Recently, Marshall collaborated on the remakes live-action songs. Reportedly, he will also give new twists with his songs for The Little Mermaid live-action movie such as Oscar-winning Under the Sea, Part of Your World, and Kiss the Girl.
In the 2019 live-action Aladdin, fans were both surprised and entertained with how their original cult-favorite songs were tweaked.
“There are things I’ve learned about how you have to work to integrate songs into story, and how it has to feel earned. It can’t just be sort of put there, placed there, because you feel there should be a song,” Marshall told Comic Book.
“It has to be a song that’s earned, that takes you there. And so as we’re working on, in a way, fleshing out The Little Mermaid — Ariel has one song in the animated film — and so we’re looking for maybe more material.”
As for McCarthy, she may have the chance of singing Ursula’s famous hit, Poor Unfortunate Souls.
Also, helping Menken with the songs (and probably new songs) is Lin-Manuel Miranda and La La Land producer Marc Platt. Meanwhile, David Magee wrote the latest script for the reboot after Jane Goldman.
The Little Mermaid live-action movie follows after Disney’s latest move with other classics such as the recently-released Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, and coming out in July, The Lion King which stars Donald Glover as Simba and Beyoncé as Nala.
Aladdin, that was released in theaters last May grossed $820 million worldwide.
Other than McCarthy, some big names were also rumored to play as Ursula including Academy winner Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Far From Home star Zendaya has been rumored to be cast for Ariel’s role, which would be another exceptional thing to talk about in the movie.