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Gender-swapped 'Splash' remake hooks Channing Tatum for merman role

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The remake of Splash that was announced back in June just hauled in a pretty big catch, with Channing Tatum reportedly in talks to star in a gender-swapped version of the 1984 film that has him portraying a sea-dwelling merman who falls in love with a human woman.

Co-starring in the film will be 22 Jump Street and The Night Before actress Jillian Bell, who will play the human woman in question. The concept for the film is based on Splash producer Brian Grazer’s original pitch for the 1984 film, which was later gender-swapped to turn it into the mermaid-human love story starring Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks instead of a merman-human relationship.

According to Deadline, the script for the Splash remake is being penned by Marja-Lewis Ryan (Liked), with original Splash director Ron Howard returning as a producer on the film along with Grazer. The remake will be a reunion for Tatum and Bell, who previously appeared in 22 Jump Street together.

The original Splash gave Howard his first big hit as a director and launched Hanks’ career as a leading man. The film followed a mermaid played by Hannah who comes ashore in New York City and falls in love with Hanks’ character. John Candy and Eugene Levy co-starred in the film.

A surprise hit, Splash earned just shy of $70 million during its theatrical run, and was the 10th highest-grossing film of 1984 — a year that also gave audiences Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills CopGremlins, The Karate Kid, and Footloose, leading many movie fans to deem it the greatest year of all time for new movies. Along with its successful run in theaters, Splash also earned an Academy Award nomination for the film’s screenplay, which was penned by Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, and Bruce Jay Friedman.

There’s no production timeline or release date at this point for the Splash remake.

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