Melissa McCarthy is in early talks to play Ursula the sea witch in Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, according to Variety. Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall is helming the film, which will feature the original songs from the 1989 animated film as well as new tunes from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Miranda is also producing The Little Mermaid with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca. The script was written by David Magee. Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing the project for The Walt Disney Studios.
Disney’s animated classic tells the story of Princess Ariel, a curious and free-spirited mermaid who courageously follows her dreams and embarks on life-changing adventures to find what she truly treasures. From her home under the sea, Ariel longs to explore the wonders of the world above the waves. Determined to make her dreams come true, Ariel strikes a bargain with the evil sea witch Ursula and trades her beautiful voice so she can be part of the human world.
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Little Mermaid was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (Aladdin). It features the voice talents of Jodi Benson as Ariel, Pat Carroll as Ursula, Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian, Christopher Daniel Barnes as Eric, Kenneth Mars as Triton, Buddy Hackett as Scuttle, Jason Marin as Flounder, and René Auberjonois as Chef Louis.
The movie, which grossed $211 million at the worldwide box office, featured such popular songs as “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” and “Kiss the Girl.”