A leaked version of the newest trailer for the live-action The Little Mermaid (2023) gives fans the first glimpse of Ursula, the classic Disney villain, as played by actress Melissa McCarthy.
Directed by Rob Marshall, the all-new film will revitalize the iconic fairytale with new elements and real-life actors, including singer-songwriter Halle Bailey as Princess Ariel and the comedian star as the evil sea witch to whom she exchanges her voice for legs to explore the human world and win the heart of Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). Of course, the reimagining will include music from original composer Alan Menken, with new contributions from Lin-Manual Miranda of Hamilton, Moana, and Encanto fame, and star Daveed Diggs, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, and Miranda himself in supporting roles.
Plus, Jodie Benson, the original voice of Ariel, will have another cameo in a Disney live-action film following her legendary appearance in Enchanted (2008)! However, some fans responded to casting announcements with skepticism, with many wondering if McCarthy had the chops to pull off the extremely beloved Pat Carroll role and others wishing Disney cast a real drag queen to play the antagonist inspired by LGBT icon Divine who steals the throne of Atlantica from King Triton.
Now, leaked footage posted to TikTok by user @esailower shows an early tease of McCarthy in her role:
— Superman™ (@AJHJR) March 12, 2023
In fact, the shot includes one of the best parts of Ursula’s depiction: the intro dialogue for “Poor Unfortunate Souls!” Furthermore, we see Bailey’s Ariel ask if it’s even possible for Ursula to help her reach the human world by making her a human herself, and McCarthy’s character replies, “It’s what I live for…”
Moreover, we get to see the impressive CGI work for Ursula’s tentacles, which utilize new blacklight effects previously impossible in the original 2D animation style, somewhat reminiscent of Tamatoa’s appearance in Moana (2016) during “Shiny,” and provide proof that the witch’s sidekicks, eels Flotsam and Jetsam, will appear.
Although the clip isn’t the best quality, luckily, a full-resolution version with a longer runtime will air tonight during the Academy Awards! Disney’s The Little Mermaid hits theaters on May 26, 2023.