That Splash remake that we heard about back in June is moving forward, but it’s definitely not what we expected. Disney has been toying with updating director Ron Howard’s “Boy Meets Mermaid” story starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, and the film now has an unlikely pair in the starring roles. Per THR, Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell are attached to star in the Splash remake, which has Howard himself set to produce alongside Brian Grazer through their Imagine Entertainment banner.
But that’s not all! This comedic pairing comes with a twist of its own, as in this new version of Splash, Tatum will play the merman and Bell will play the human. The idea sprang from Bell herself, who showed off her comedy chops on Comedy Central’s Workaholics before breaking out in a big way opposite Tatum in 22 Jump Street. She’s since landed a Comedy Central series of her own, Idiotsitter (on which Tatum guest starred), and turned in scene-stealing work in films like The Night Before, so her co-starring turn in a major feature film is much deserved.
The story of Howard’s 1984 original revolved around a man who as a young boy was saved from drowning by a mermaid, only to be visited by the mermaid two decades later and given the option of living with her under the sea. It’s unclear how closely the Splash remake will hew to that original film, but one imagines a number of hilarious twists and turns might ensue. Marja-Lewis Ryan has been set to pen the script, and Disney will likely be on the hunt for a director sooner rather than later.
In a day and age where remakes and reboots are so commonplace they’re becoming boring, this—a twist that involves a pair of incredibly funny performers—is a remake I can get behind.