Disney to remake Splash (1984) with Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell. Splash originally starred Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, and Disney is in talks with Imagine Entertainment to reboot the story after 32 years.
Splash tells the story of a man named Allen who nearly drowned off the coast of Cape Cod as a boy and who was saved by a mermaid named Madison, although he doesn’t remember the details. After Allen returns to the same beach as an adult and Madison saves him again, Madison decides to transition to dry land, where she and Allen fall in love. The film was Imagine Entertainment’s first real hit, produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard– both of whom would return to take part in a reboot.
The reboot has a twist, though: Tatum will play the mermaid, while Jillian Bell will portray the human whose life is saved. This role reversal comes in the wake of slowly changing tides in Hollywood that call for females to take over traditionally male roles and vice versa. Channing Tatum as a mermaid certainly shatters the typical image we all have of graceful tails and coconut bras, but interestingly, this would slate Jillian Bell as the one who gets saved. Thus the movie would include one of the feminist movement’s least favorite tropes: the damsel in distress.
The Splash remake is in very early stages, but it will certainly be a movie to keep an eye on in terms of feminist culture and representation in modern film. It should be noted that Channing Tatum has played a part in several movies that push him aside as a typical leading man and instead make room for unlikely heroes, such as women or even non-handsome/white men (for example, 21 Jump Street, Magic Mike XXL, and Step Up). Whatever Splash becomes and whenever it hits, this film is sure to make waves.
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