The long line of fairy tales queued up at studio doors waiting for their moment in the reimagining machine shows no sign of shortening just yet. And Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid has been a live-action target for at least two companies. Universal and Working Title are pushing ahead with their version, and Sofia Coppola is the surprising new choice to direct.
We say surprising in that Coppola hasn’t traditionally focused on tales for younger audiences – her movies tend to delve into adult issues, though last year’s The Bling Ring did focus on young people looking to achieve their dreams, so perhaps this is simply an extension of that. You know, with less thieving and celebrity obsession.
Joe Wright – who is busy building the new world of Pan – had been down to direct, with Kelly Marcel and Abi Morgan both producing drafts of the script. Now Caroline Thompson (no stranger to fairy tale-style stories herself with Edward Scissorhands and Corpse Bride on her resume) taking a crack at the story of the young mermaid who falls for a human prince. Will Coppola make it a darker vision than Disney’s 'toon? Given that the script derives from a children’s theatre company version, we’d doubt it, but a lot can happen between the page and the screen.