Universal continues to develop its live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, and now nearly six months after Sofia Coppola exited the director’s chair, the studio has found a new helmer. Per The Wrap, filmmaker Rebecca Thomas is in talks to land the coveted gig after a meeting with star Chloe Grace Moretz proved fruitful. Thomas is an up and coming director with the 2012 indie Electrick Children under her belt, but she is separately attached to another high-profile project: the John Green adaptation Looking for Alaska, which will follow previous successful Green adaptations The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns.
Love Actually scribe Richard Curtis is penning the screenplay for The Little Mermaid, which has been in development at Universal for some time. Pride and Prejudice filmmaker Joe Wright was initially developing the picture before opting to helm Pan instead, and then Coppola was attached to the project for over a year, but decided to part ways when it was clear she and the studio didn’t see eye to eye in terms of execution or casting. Moretz subsequently signed on to star, and now with Thomas in the director’s chair this thing is getting close to becoming a reality, giving Disney a run for its money in the “live-action adaptations of animated classics” department.
Thomas remains set to helm Looking for Alaska, which is further along than The Little Mermaid but also doesn’t have green light just yet. Paramount continues the casting search on that teen-centric yet somewhat dark picture with The Wrap adding that Elle Fanning is the top choice for the female lead. One imagines Thomas will continue to develop Looking for Alaska as she dives into The Little Mermaid, so we’ll just have to see which project becomes a reality first. Regardless, good news for Thomas all around.