Melissa McCarthy Eyed For Ursula Role In Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' Remake

Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is finally making its first casting moves, and surprisingly the title role isn't where they're starting. Instead, it's the iconic villainess Ursuala, who Variety says may be played by Melissa McCarthy. 

McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula in The Little Mermaid, which will be directed by Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns' Rob Marshall.  David Magee wrote the script, with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken penning some brand new songs, although you can count on hearing popular favorites such as "Under the Sea" and "Part of Your World."  The film is based on the 1989 animated classic, itself a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale about a red-haired mermaid falls in love with a human, Prince Eric, and makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula to give up her voice in exchange for legs. 

Expect to see some tweaks to the Ariel character, as producers look to make “contemporary and compelling casting choices, while still paying homage to the beloved animated original.” Basically, we can probably look to see Ariel given more contemporary motivations than simply marrying some handsome dude. Take the changes made to Princess Jasmine in Aladdin as an example of where things could go.

The last couple of years have seen McCarthy step up her game beyond silly comedic roles, earning her second Oscar nomination for her dramatic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me. She'll next lead crime thriller The Kitchen, alongside Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss.

The Little Mermaid goes into production early next year.