Filmmaker Sofia Coppola looks to be making her first foray into tentpole moviemaking. Deadline reports that the Lost in Translation director is in negotiations to take the helm of Universal Pictures and Working Title’s live-action adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid. A live-action redo of the story has been in the works for years, with director Joe Wright most recently developing the project with screenwriter Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey). Wright is currently busy with another adaptation of a classic, Pan, but it appears that Universal isn’t keen to wait, as they plan on moving forward with The Little Mermaid quickly once Coppola officially signs on. Hit the jump for more.
News of Coppola’s involvement with The Little Mermaid comes courtesy of Deadline, who also reports that Edward Scissorhands scribe Caroline Thompson is currently rewriting the script. For those somehow unaware, the story revolves around a mermaid who makes a bargain with a Sea Witch in order to live on land and be closer to a handsome prince. Disney’s 1989 animated iteration, while great in its own regard, smoothed out some of the rougher edges of the original story and reworked the bleak ending. Should she sign on, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of changes Coppola makes to the story.
Though a fairy tale might seem out of character for an adult drama-focused director like Coppola, all of her previous films have dealt with themes of youth and coming-of-age, including last year’s The Bling Ring. THR adds that this new iteration of The Little Mermaid will be “kid-friendly” and is being developed as a four-quadrant film, so while it may mark a shift in tone for the filmmaker, it’s thematically rich material for Coppola to mine. As a fan of her 2006 film Marie Antoinette, I’m quite intrigued by the prospect of seeing what Coppola does on a larger canvas. At the very least we can expect a killer soundtrack.