Channing Tatum Turns Merman in Disney's 'Splash' Remake

'Workaholics' regular Jillian Bell also stars in gender-flipped rework of 1984 romantic comedy

Jillian Bell and Channing Tatum star in Disney's gender-flipped rework of the 1984 mermaid romcom 'Splash.' Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty

Having securely conquered hearts on dry land, Channing Tatum is expanding his rom-com empire to the sea. The Magic Mike actor will star opposite his 22 Jump Street co-star Jillian Bell in Disney's newly announced remake of Splash. The new version flips the gender-roles of the original, meaning Tatum will star as the seductive merman. 

In the 1984 original, Tom Hanks falls in love with the bewitching Daryl Hannah. He has no idea that his new crush's legs transform into a shimmering fin when she returns to the water. The goofy romantic comedy premise, combined with Hanks' pre-fame charm, was a tsunami-sized hit for Disney. The film got glowing reviews, an Academy Award nomination and robust box office returns. 

The remake could see the same success. Gender-swapping the roles a la Paul Feig's female-fronted Ghostbusters could earn Disney's developing project the same publicity bump that Feig's film enjoyed. Though Channing Tatum as a merman – lying nude amid the waves – is sure to hook plenty of viewers regardless.