No sooner has word arrive that Melissa McCarthy was in talks (and close to signing on) to portray Ursula in Disney’s live-action version of ‘The Little Mermaid’, than another celebrity has thrown her name out for consideration– Lizzo. Hip hop and R&B artist (and flutist) Melissa Viviane Jefferson, better known as Lizzo, posted a video on Twitter of herself made up as Ursula in full purple makeup and white wig, singing the character’s signature song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” with the caption, “I’M URSULA. PERIOD.”
You be the judge:
— |L I Z Z O| (@lizzo) November 1, 2018
Melissa McCarthy is certainly a bigger name, but she can be a spotty box office draw. Some of her movies are huge hits. Others are dismal flops.
Lizzo is better known as a musician, although she has done some acting, including recently lending her voice to the musical animated flick ‘UglyDolls’. And even in terms of music, she is a star on the rise. He 2017 single “Truth Hurts” was her biggest hit, having hit #17 in the US. He current single, “Juice” is on the rise, thanks to being featured in the summery commercial for Cape Line Sparkling Cocktails. It was also a favorite during June Pride events, and Lizzo performed it live at Indianapolis and Sacramento’s Pride festivals. In April, she also performed at Coachella for the first time.
McCarthy is not known for singing. That’s not to say that she’s incapable. It appears the new movie will have more songs, so this Ursula may have more to sing than “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”
Emmy and Grammy winner Pat Carroll provided the voice of Ursula in the 1989 animated classic. Rob Marshall (‘Mary Poppins Returns’, ‘Into the Woods’) is directing the live-action film. Alan Menken, who won Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Original Song (for “Under the Sea”) for the original film, is back for the remake and is working with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will write new lyrics to Menken’s music.
It was previously rumored that Lady Gaga was being sought to play Ursula.
It has been rumored that Jane Levy (‘What/If’) and Zendaya (‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’) were the frontrunners to play Ariel, with Harry Styles (‘Dunkirk’) and Noah Centineo (‘Masters of the Universe’) being looked at to play Prince Eric.
The animated movie loosely retold the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen and told of a mermaid named Ariel who yearns to be human after she falls in love with a prince. She makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula who grants her wish but takes her voice.
Who would you rather see play Ursula– Lizzo or Melissa McCarthy?