Disney filmmakers are giving Splash a gender-bending makeover with Channing Tatum starring as the merman in a planned remake.

The Magic Mike star will take on the role originated by Daryl Hannah, while Jillian Bell will take on the part which helped to launch Tom Hanks' career.

The project will reunite Channing with his 22 Jump Street co-star Jillian, and according to Deadline.com, it was the actress who proposed the idea of giving the fantasy fish tale a twist.

Channing will also serve as a producer, alongside Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, who directed the 1984 release.

A director has yet to be announced, but Marja-Lewis Ryan has been recruited to write the revamped script.

The original movie centred on a young boy who is saved from drowning by a beautiful mermaid. She returns 20 years later and falls in love with the grown-up kid, before giving him the option of continuing to live on land or join her in the sea.

Eugene Levy and John Candy also featured in the film.

The new role is the latest project to be added to Channing's busy film slate. The Hollywood hunk is currently shooting Kingsman: The Secret Service sequel The Golden Circle, while he will next join forces with his Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh for NASCAR heist comedy Logan Lucky.

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Tatum is also set to tackle the role of Marvel superhero Gambit in a standalone X-Men spin-off, which is expected to be released in 2018. His casting was announced at San Diego, California's Comic-Con event last year.

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