He played a stripper in Magic Mike and an action hero in 21 Jump Street. But Channing Tatum's latest character is not what you'd expect.

Tatum, 36, will play a mermaid in a gender-flipped remake of '80s movie, Splash, it has been announced.

The Magic Mike XXL star will play the role Daryl Hannah made famous in the 1984 movie, Deadline reports.

Tatum will also produce the movie, co-starring actor Jillian Bell in the part Tom Hanks originally played.

A scene from the '80s movie, Splash.
A scene from the '80s movie, Splash.

It has been described as an "intriguing take" on the original movie, which Bell - who co-starred alongside Tatum in 22 Jump Street - reportedly pitched to executive producer Ron Howard.

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She said: "I'm not the kind of person who would go to the gym. For me, working out has to be good for my mind too, and when I leave [spinning class SoulCycle], the endorphins are buzzing, I'm glowing and I feel like I can take on the world."

Deadline reports no director has been attached to the movie yet, with the script to be written by Liked screenwriter Marja-Lewis Ryan.

The Hollywood industry site described the Splash plot as "strong enough to be reintroduced to a new audience".