Channing Tatum Will Play The Mermaid In New ‘Splash’ Re-Imagining With ’22 Jumpstreet’ Co-Star Jillian Bell

The remake of the beloved 80s blockbuster movie Splash is a go! Like the recent re-imagining of Ghostbusters, this movie promises an intriguing twist: Channing Tatum will be playing the mermaid. Or would that be merman? Unlike the skepticism around Ghostbusters, social media is aflutter with the thought of a bare-chested Tatum sporting a fish tail and nothing more. Best of all, could this re-imagining of Splash mark a revival of the romantic comedy?


Splash is the romantic modern day fairy tale of a man and a mermaid that takes place twenty years after she rescued him from drowning as a child. The original movie starred Tom Hanks as Allen and the alluring Daryl Hannah as Madison the mermaid. This role was a breakout vehicle for both Hanks and Hannah, and it as well changed how Hollywood viewed director Ron Howard.

The low-budget Splash rapidly charmed 1984 movie goers as it became one of the top ten successful box office draws that year. This movie singlehandedly launched the 80s romantic comedy trend with the most unlikely leading man. At the time, Brat Pack actors such as Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, or Sean Penn were much more likely to become Hollywood’s leading romantic heroes than goofball Tom Hanks. Yet, this movie not only propelled Hanks to the top, he went on to become the romantic lead of many more romantic blockbusters such as Sleepless in Seattle and You Got Mail.


At the time, Hanks had only been in a handful of films, as he had just come off of the silly, short-lived television show Bosom Buddies. Meanwhile, Hannah had some star power of her own, as she had starred in the classic, cult science fiction film Bladerunner. Her public life was also intriguing, as she was seen on the arm of the classic rock icon Jackson Browne. Later, much to the chagrin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Hannah’s relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr. dominated magazine covers. Hannah’s cool blonde look and vegetarian lifestyle made her a coveted 80s icon.

Splash also dramatically changed the career of director Ron Howard. Now, he was no longer little Opie Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show, but instead, considered a formidable director. Although he had success with the Michael Keaton comedy Nightshift, no one expected such tremendous success from a simple fish tale. This is the first film that launched the long-term working partnership between Hanks and Howard. They went on to work together on Apollo 13 and DaVinci Code, as well as other projects.


So, who do we thank for pitching the idea of Channing Tatum portraying the merman? We need to thank actress Jillian Bell. She co-starred with the hunky Tatum in 22 Jumpstreet. She is obviously no idiot. She pitched the idea! Like Magic Mike XXL, everyone knows people will flock to see a bare-chested Tatum sporting a fishing tail and not much more. Unlike the recent Ghostbusters remake, the fans are already on board with a great deal of excitement. Everyone loves the idea of Channing Tatum starring in a remade version of Splash!

It makes perfect sense that Disney is interested in remaking this classic fish tale. Deadline reports that house that Mickey built is currently negotiating with the original Splash director, Ron Howard, and with Brian Grazer, his production partner at Imagine Entertainment. Currently, Maria Lewis-Ryan is working on the rewrite of this updated version of Splash.

There is currently no indication who will play Allen’s skirt-chasing brother Freddie, originally portrayed by the late, great comedian John Candy. Nor is there a name attached to the character of Dr. Walter Kornbluth, originally played by Eugene Levy.


Channing Tatum will soon be seen in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, while Jillian Bell is starring alongside Jennifer Aniston in the upcoming film Office Christmas Party. There is no word on when filming will begin on Splash.

Are you excited to see a re-imagining of Splash? Do you think this remake will revive the romantic comedy?

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]