Editor's note: Molly does not really feel this way. We promise.
Bad news, folks: Hollywood is remaking a classic 1984 comedy to pander to a limited segment of movie audiences and their politically correct agenda. And as a grown female adult woman—and a diehard Splashie—I'm outraged.
Splash is one of the finest movies about a sea-human ever made, and perhaps the very finest movie ever made about a sea-human who isn't a redhead. But now they're rebooting it with Channing Tatum, a man, in the mermaid (merman???) role originated by Daryl Hannah, a woman. Meanwhile, female person Jillian Bell will take on the human (hu-woman???) role once played by male person Tom Hanks. Unlike most movies, which are philanthropic efforts produced without any thought given to the financial returns they will bring the not-for-profit studios that make them, it's clear that this dumbed-down reboot is a shameless cash grab.
When I was a little girl, Splash was my favorite movie. When my mom couldn’t find me a Splash poster, she bought me a poster of Tom Hanks in Big, and taped on a red carpet photo of Daryl Hannah she’d cut out from an issue of People. This beloved artifact of my youth still hangs in my parents' basement. (I know what you're thinking, trolls, and no, I don't live in my parents' basement. I live in their attic.)
While I shudder at the thought of the CGI tail that will inevitably replace the glorious practical effects of the original, that's far from my biggest issue with this project. Don't clutch your pearl cufflinks and call me sexist, but it's simply a fact of nature and science that men aren't mermaids. I have met exactly zero (0) mermen in my lifetime, and that figure includes merboys. That's why the nuances of this role simply couldn't be grasped by a male actress. What about that classic scene, where Madison had a tail, and then she didn't? Or that other classic scene, where Madison didn't have her tail, and then she did? And may I remind you that Madison chose her human name after seeing a Manhattan street sign? What will this merman's name be? Lexington? Park? Third Avenue? Don't patronize me.
And I hate to think of what this gender-swapping gimmick means for the legacy of the supporting cast—don't you remember how the late John Candy played the main character's brother, and Eugene Levy a meddling marine biologist? Who will replace them? Eugenia Levy? Joan Candy? Well, people by these names don’t exist. I checked IMDb and everything.
Token dude Tatum, may I remind you, is best known for robbing women of the choice exotic dancer roles that are our birthright. The SJWs want to see female ghostbusters, female superheroes, even female presidents, but what about the vital economies of our undersea civilizations? Don’t little girls deserve to see themselves represented on screen as mermaids? Sexy, naked mermaids, for men to enjoy looking at?
I know the studio shills will shout me down with their cries of "BOY POWER" and male empowerment, but I find it loathsome that they're piggybacking on an established brand to appeal to a younger generation. I don't care about a younger generation. I care about my generation. More specifically, I care about me.
All I can say is that I hope this movie will be better than the trailer. The trailer isn't out yet, but trust me, it will be terrible—and when it finally does arrive, you'll find me in the YouTube comments section, eager to express my feelings in terms that would have definitely cost the original Splash its PG rating.
From now on, when I wear my Splash T-shirt, which, to be clear, is a T-shirt I have written the word "Splash" on with a Sharpie, it will mean something different—something tainted. Mark my words: The box office for Splash will prove once and for all that you can't build a movie around a man.
P.S. I would lobby for a Splash sequel starring the 1984 cast, but given that Daryl Hannah is now 55 years old and therefore considered legally dead within the city limits of Los Angeles, it seems only right to let Splash die right along with her.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.