The Little Mermaid: Melissa McCarthy Plays Coy About Ursula Role

Details surrounding the live-action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid are beginning to fall into place -- but one of the longest-gestating rumors about the film still hasn't been confirmed or denied. In a recent interview with Variety, Melissa McCarthy was asked about Queen Latifah's casting in an upcoming live ABC telecast of the Little Mermaid musical, and whether or not that could lead to an "Ursula duet". McCarthy, who has been said to be in talks to play the big-screen Ursula since June, played coy about whether or not that would happen.

"Oh! What do you mean?" McCarthy teased. "I don't know."

McCarthy also addressed Latifah's casting in the role, and expressed how excited she'll be to watch it on television.

"'Ladies First'. That's all I'll say." McCarthy explained. "I love Queen Latifah so much. I still have my cassette tape of 'Ladies First'. Cassette! Does that date me? She can do anything. I'll be both hands on [my] chin, watching her."

The Little Mermaid will star Halle Bailey as the iconic Disney princess Ariel, who will be joined by Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Skuttle. Harry Styles is in talks to play Prince Eric.

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” the film's director, Rob Marshall, said in a statement when Bailey's casting was announced.

The film will be directed by Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), with a script from David Magee and Jane Goldman. The film is expected to feature original songs from the 1989 animated blockbuster, as well as new tracks composed by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“There are things I’ve learned about how you have to work to integrate songs into story, and how it has to feel earned. It can’t just be sort of put there, placed there, because you feel there should be a song,” Marshall told “It has to be a song that’s earned, that takes you there. And so as we’re working on, in a way, fleshing out The Little Mermaid — Ariel has one song in the animated film — and so we’re looking for maybe more material.”


“Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are coming on board to write some lyrics, so that’s exciting, to sort of take what was there, which is so beloved, but also find a way to create a live-action version of it,” Marshall said, adding “the lessons of creating an original musical have been very helpful so far.”

Do you hope McCarthy plays Ursula in the Little Mermaid movie? And would you want to see her duet with Queen Latifah? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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