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Channing Tatum to lose shirt, gain tail in gender-flipped Splash remake

The not-so-little merman

Channing Tatum at The Cannes Lions 2016.
Channing Tatum at The Cannes Lions 2016.
Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A remake of 1984’s fish-out-of-water story Splash is in development at Disney, Deadline reports, and Channing Tatum is set to star. The film is still in pre-production, with neither a release date nor director attached.

Disney’s contemporary Splash will go the gender-flipped route, with Tatum and co-star Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street, Workaholics) taking on roles originated by Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks, respectively. That means that fans can look forward to seeing Tatum as a merman whom down-on-her-luck Bell falls for after he appears on land, years after they met at sea.

Tatum will co-produce, as will Ron Howard, who directed the original film. Splash was Howard’s first success as a director, going on to become one of 1984’s biggest movies and making a name for him and his lead actors.

The news comes just weeks after the Ghostbusters reboot’s theatrical debut. Like Splash, the first film premiered in 1984; it starred four men, while its recent revival replaces the crew with four women instead. The change has attracted controversy with a certain contingent of the fanbase and internet at large, leading to a harassment campaign against one of the lead actresses — all because she starred in a movie originally about men.

Last summer, Tatum was reportedly in talks to star in another new, all-male Ghostbusters film; that project has since been shelved.

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