Tom Hanks’ Most Underrated Romantic Comedy Being Rebooted

Tom Hanks' 1984 breakthrough film, Splash, is being rebooted by Disney.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah in Splash

Disney is jumping back in the deep end with a reboot of the 1984 Ron Howard film Splash. Originally starring Tom Hanks and Kill Bill actress Daryl Hannah, the Splash remake is set to star 22 Jump Street actress Jillian Bell. As reported by Deadline, the new film has hired writer Sarah Rothschild to pen a new draft of the screenplay.

Rothschild is the scribe behind Netflix’s action comedy The Sleepover, starring Malin Akerman and Joe Manganiello. She joined the ’80s remake to rewrite a draft by The L Word: Generation Q writer Marja-Lewis Ryan. Jillian Bell is expected to take on the role originated by Daryl Hannah, but a substitute for Tom Hanks has not yet been attached to the Splash reboot.

In the original film, Tom Hanks plays Allen, a man who reunites with a mermaid named Madison, played by Hannah, who saved his life when he was a boy. Unaware of her true nature, Allen falls in love with Madison, and things fishtail from there. The movie was a financial and critical success for Disney, but for Tom Hanks, Splash was a breakthrough.

Splash launched Hanks into movies after the actor spent several years doing television. It led to 1980s Hanks hits like Big and Turner & Hooch, and in the ’90s, Hanks cemented himself as one of the greatest movie stars of his generation. But Tom Hanks may have never reached his career heights without Splash.

The film was also a breakthrough for its director, Ron Howard. The success of Splash allowed Howard and his business partner, Brian Grazer, to start Imagine Entertainment, which has yielded classics like Apollo 13, Liar Liar, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And it all started with Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, and Splash.

Jillian Bell in 22 Jump Street

Imagine will join Disney and Free Association in producing the new Splash. The reboot of the Tom Hanks classic has a long way to go, as Disney’s new Splash is still without a director, leading man, and a polished script. Thanks to Sarah Rothschild, one of those problems is being solved.

Tom Hanks started his movie career with Splash nearly 40 years ago and will continue it with Asteroid City, the latest film from acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson. As is typical with Anderson’s films, Asteroid City boasts an impressive cast, including Margot Robbie, Hong Chau, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Steve Carell, Maya Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Hope Davis, and Jeff Goldblum.

The film follows the attendees of a Junior Stargazer convention when a world-changing event shakes up the event’s plans. Tom Hanks will look to make a splash of his own among the star-studded cast.

Hanks is also set to reunite with his Forrest Gump co-star, Robin Wright, and director, Robert Zemeckis, for the upcoming film Here. The film takes place in a single room, chronicling the lives of those who inhabit it over the course of decades. The movie is rumored to heavily employ digital de-aging technology, which may give audiences a version of Tom Hanks they haven’t seen since Splash.

In a landscape dominated by sequels and reboots, the remake of the Tom Hanks breakout was inevitable, and fans can only hope that the new take on Splash retains not only the concept, but the heart and humor of the original.