As we all wait for next year’s D23 Expo to receive all sorts of first looks at Disney’s highly-anticipated The Little Mermaid, we get to hear from the actors what it was like making the film. Melissa McCarthy recently spoke with USA Today during press for her new Netflix film The Starling and was asked what it was like working on a reimagining of such a beloved Disney animated classic and a beloved villain like Ursula.
Glorious. The world of Disney and (director) Rob Marshall is a world that I wish everyone could experience because it’s so creative, kind and lovely. Going to singing class every day, I was actually sad: I got to record with an orchestra, which is a mind-bender for someone who is not a singer, and then they were like, “That’s it, we’ve got your song.” And I was like, “Wait, I don’t get to go to class anymore?” I was actually kind of heartbroken about it, but it was such a fun process. It’s going to be incredible.
McCarthy also talked about her experience working on a musical, a first for her long comedic career:
I love to dance, I love music, I love musicals, but I was like, “Well, I’m not trained in that, so I don’t get to do that.” To me, Ursula is everything. She’s one of my absolute favorite villains so to play her was delicious. You’re flying around singing and spinning in these crazy contraptions and up on wires. What’s not to love? Nobody else lets me spin around the yard and sing. They would be like, “You’re going to have to stop that.”
Directed by Rob Marshall (Into The Woods), The Little Mermaid will feature the original music by Alan Menken (Tangled and 1989’s The Little Mermaid) in addition to four brand new songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Encanto). The cast also includes Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home) as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) as Ursula, and Javier Bardem (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) as King Triton. Also set to star is Emily Coates, Jessica Alexander, Jude Akuwudike, Noma Dumezweni, Russell Balogh, and Adrian Christopher.
The Little Mermaid swims into theaters on May 26, 2023.