Melissa McCarthy is in early talks to play the villain Ursula in its live-action/CGI adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Deadline has confirmed. No deal has been done, but it would be the latest piece in place for the project, part of Disney’s reboots of its animated classics that include the recent Aladdin and the upcoming The Lion King.
Rob Marshall, who helmed Disney’s sequel Mary Poppins Returns last year, is directing Little Mermaid, which will feature Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s songs from the original 1989 animated feature (“Under the Sea” won the Oscar) and new tunes from Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
David Magee wrote the latest script for the reboot after Jane Goldman. Marc Platt, Marshall, Miranda and John DeLuca are producers. No release date has been set yet.
McCarthy this past season was Oscar nominated for Can You Ever Forgive Me? She is up next hosting NBC’s Little Big Shots and is circling The Starling, a comedy that would retaam her and Chris O’Dowd with their St. Vincent director Ted Melfi.
Variety first had news of the McCarthy talks today.