Channing Tatum, Jillian Bell to star in gender-swapped SPLASH remake

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I used to think of Channing Tatum as this generation’s Keanu Reeves only a better dancer and not as good an actor. That was of course before 21 Jump Street introduced us to his glorious goofball side, and he became a bona fide Hollywood leading man who can just about do it all. So yeah, I’m now pretty much on board with whatever the ol’ Charming Potato does, which includes starring alongside funny girl Jillian Bell in a planned Disney remake of classic fantasy rom-com Splash. 

The original 1984 hit starred Tom Hanks and Daryll Hannah, with Hanks playing a man who encountered and was subsequently enchanted by a mermaid, whom he comes to believe was just an hallucination, when he was a boy. Years later, still desperately trying to make the same sort of emotional connection with other women as he did the mermaid of his dreams, he meets a mysterious mute young woman played by Daryl Hannah, whom he falls in love with, not knowing that she was actually the very same mermaid from his childhood magically gifted the ability to walk on land temporarily.

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As Deadline reports, this new remake comes with a twist though: Tatum is actually the playing the mermaid – well, merman – while Bell takes on Hanks’ role. The pitch for this actually came from Bell herself and was apparently warmly welcomed by the folks at Disney. And I have to admit that I’m actually intrigued to see how this would turn out. And of course we already know that Tatum definitely knows how to shake his tail.

The original movie was a massive box and critical success, earning itself an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. It was also the movie that made big time household stars out of Hanks and Hannah. It was directed by a young Ron Howard and co-written by a young Brian Grazer and was not only the first big hit of their since illustrious and lengthy careers, but actually led to the formation of their Imagine Entertainment production company.

Howard and Grazer will be returning to produce this remake, which is being scripted by Marja Lewis-Ryan. No director is attached yet, and no other castings have been announced yet – especially for the role of the villainous brother to Hanks’character, played by the late great John Candy in the original.

 

Last Updated: August 2, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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