With so many live-action remakes of Disney movies burning up the box office, it’s always exciting to hear casting news for the latest reboots. Or is it? Because word got out on Friday who might play the villain in the upcoming Little Mermaid, and the social media reaction to Melissa McCarthy as Ursula was surprisingly sour. As for what seems to be the problem, well, fans apparently have a few other famous faces in mind for the larger-than-life role.
Variety broke the news about McCarthy’s potential involvement in the live-action remake, noting that it isn’t a done deal yet. At this point, McCarthy is reportedly in early talks to play the sea witch, meaning she hasn’t signed on the dotted line. Still, the reported casting elicited quite a bit of backlash from fans who feel as though several talented — and, in their opinions, more fitting — stars had been overlooked. Most pointedly, fans seem to think Ursula should be played by someone with a killer set of pipes.
One such star even openly expressed her desire to play the iconic sea witch: Lizzo. In back-to-back tweets, the “Juice” singer reacted to McCarthy’s casting with a sad face and then shared a video from 2018 of herself in character as Ursula. At the time, Lizzo was already trying to score the role, tagging Disney and writing, “I’m Ursula. Period.”
It didn’t take long for fans to latch on to the idea, starting the #JusticeForLizzo hashtag. “Just discovered you a few weeks ago and I know you’d kill this role,” one fan wrote. Another summed up the sentiments of many McCarthy fans, saying, “I love Melissa and get why they went with an established ‘name,’ but I really think they missed it. Lizzo would have slayed this role in such a fresh way.”
Other fans insisted the role could be played by no one other than drag performer, actor and singer Ginger Minj. “I love Melissa McCarthy but @TheGingerMinj really should be cast as Ursula in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Ursula was based off a drag queen so it’s only right a drag queen is cast, and Ginger is perfect for the role,” one commenter said. Another proffered, “No discredit to other talent but it would be a miss on @Disney @DisneyStudios part to cast anyone else in the part.”
Other suggestions to fill the tentacled-role included Queen Latifah, Glee’s Alex Newell, Orange Is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks, The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Burgess.
Guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see how this sea-witch scurfuffle shakes out!
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