Melissa McCarthy may be stepping into an underwater world to help a poor, unfortunate soul find their voice.
According to Variety, McCarthy is in early talks to play the sea witch Ursula in Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. The report notes that Disney and the production team behind it are looking to make contemporary and compelling casting choices, but still aim to pay homage to the acclaimed animated original.
Rob Marshall, director of Mary Poppins Returns, will helm the project, reuniting with MPR writer David Magee, who pens The Little Mermaid script. The film will incorporate the original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca.
The Little Mermaid was the 28th Disney animated feature film, loosely based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. The film tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who dreams of becoming human, after falling in love with a human prince named Eric. It marked the start of the era known as the Disney Renaissance. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (Under the Sea).
McCarthy is expected to sing “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” one of the classic villain songs in the Disney archive.