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Why Isn’t Channing Tatum As A Mermaid Making More Of A Splash?

Hollywood is remaking another 80s classic and switching up the gender of the lead roles - so why no outcry this time?

The Internet is pretty damn happy today. At some point in about 2017, a movie will hit cinemas which is likely to feature a shirtless Channing Tatum for the better part of two hours (again). That’s because Hollywood has decided to remake another 80s classic – this time the Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah rom-com Splash.

It’s all about that old story: Boy falls for mermaid but has to leave her in the sea; boy grows up unhappy and only to find his scaly paramour later in life.

But this new version will see Tatum will take on Daryl Hannah’s role, playing the aforementioned mermaid (merperson?) in love with a landlubber. Since the project was announced earlier today, the web has been awash in gleeful stories about the prospect of so much Channing Tatum (did we mention he has to be wet for a lot of the movie?)

Which is fascinating in its own way.

Remember when the Ghostbusters reboot was announced? Remember the ridicule, horror and derision when it was revealed that an all-female cast would star in a Ghostbusters movie.

The contrast is striking. Both films are beloved 1980s classics. Both have had their casts’ genders cunningly switched. Both new projects star big-name box office stars. Yet, only one of these blockbusters has had to regularly, and with increasing exasperation, defend their choice to cast actors of a different gender in the lead roles.

In other words, it’s comedy gold when a man takes on a feminine role, but when ladies suit up to take on a man’s big screen role (saving the world in between offiering pithy one-liners), they are accused of ruining childhood memories and tarnishing the legacy of a classic flick.

Colour us a little confused.

But when all is said and done, the only thing that probably matters is the bottom line. And in this instance, revenge is best served in cold hard dollars: despite the vitriol and controversy Ghostbusters has made more than $US155 million at the box office already.

Who’s afraid of lady reboots now?

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