Published: Mon, July 01, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

McCarthy in talks to play Ursula in The Little Mermaid

McCarthy in talks to play Ursula in The Little Mermaid

Disney's next "live-action" remake is Jon Favreau's The Lion King, which opens July 19.

Melissa McCarthy is in early talks to play the villain Ursula in its live-action/CGI adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Deadline has confirmed.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who worked with Marshall on Poppins, has also been tapped to work on original music for Mermaid with original composer Alan Menken. Which sounds great, but casting McCarthy, inspired as it may be, feels very much on the nose.

Actress Cynthia Erivo was particularly unimpressed with Disney's decision, as she tweeted out a number of other acting options who would have helped to diversify and update The Little Mermaid for a modern audience. David Magee will write the remake's script.

If McCarthy's conversations with Disney yield positive results, she'll be the first to be cast.

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In The Little Mermaid, Ursula is a scary sea witch who tries to capture Ariel by granting her wish to become a human and live above sea level - but it's not that straightforward and Ariel must pay a price. "Mary Poppins Returns" director Rob Marshall is helming.

Adapting classic animated pics into live-action features is a strategy that has been going strong for the studio, most recently with its live-action remake of "Aladdin", which has grossed $820 million worldwide.

In addition to his musical duties, Miranda will also produce alongside La La Land producer Marc Platt.

McCarthy this past season was Oscar nominated for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

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