Late Friday, Variety reported that Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula in the inevitable Disney live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. This is the only Disney live-action remake I actually care about because I LOVE The Little Mermaid. I loved mermaids so much as a kid I used to sit on the bottom of the pool, convinced if I stayed in the water long enough, I would turn into one. I know the lyrics to every song in The Little Mermaid, including that batsh-t insane song about the chef who loves killing and cooking shellfish just a little too much. I f-cking love The Little Mermaid! Bring on the Disney live-action remake, this one I want to see. Although, I must say, the prospect of Melissa McCarthy as Ursula doesn’t do much for me.
The number one question after the news broke is whether or not Melissa McCarthy can sing. Answer: Yes, she can.
But other people can sing, too, including Queen Latifah. She once posed as Ursula for an Annie Liebovitz ad-portrait, and it’s so cool it’s been in my head ever since. And then there is Lizzo, who is not hiding her desire to be Ursula:
The question shouldn’t be whether or not McCarthy can sing, it should be if she is even the most interesting choice for Ursula. I reckon not. There are a lot of more interesting options for Ursula. She’s a purple witch-octopus, she can literally be played by anyone with enough grit and the ability to sing. And she has to have some gravitas, too. Because Triton f-cking sucks and Ursula is the only other option for sea-dwellers who need help and aren’t worth the notice of their mad king who spends all his time planning elaborate musical revues with his troop of daughters anyway. I know she’s a witch who makes duplicitous bargains but at least she’s DOING SOMETHING. What does Triton ever do, besides force everyone to come to his bizarre midday talent shows? TRITON IS THE CALIGULA OF THE SEA.
Ursula is charismatic and concerned and sympathetic, and also completely untrustworthy. I’m not sure I buy Melissa McCarthy is the best candidate for the role, but we’ll see. Disney seems determined not to be interesting. It’s not the most promising start to the live-action Little Mermaid. I am now actively worried they’re going to cast Noah Centineo as Prince Eric.