A new live-action take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, "The Little Mermaid", is in development at Universal Pictures in conjunction with Working Title Films. Sofia Coppola is in negotiations to serve as a director for the feature film.
Caroline Thompson ("Edward Scissorhands") is re-writing the script which will see a mermaid who longs to live on land after falling in love with a human. Previous drafts were penned by "Fifty Shades of Grey" scribe Kelly Marcel and "Shame" writer Abi Morgan.
A rival project is allegedly in the works at Sony. It's a movie based on Carolyn Turgeon's novel "Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale", a dark retelling of the Andersen story. Shana Feste ("Country Strong") was attached to write and direct it, and Tobey Maguire was involved as a producer. Since it was rumored in 2011, there was no update on the project.
Coppola was highly praised for her directing gig in 2003's "Lost in Translation". She received an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Director at the same awards show. "The Little Mermaid" will be her first project since helming 2013's "The Bling Ring" which was based on a true story of a group of young women who broke into a number of celebrities' houses in Hollywood.
Before Coppola's name is mentioned, according to Deadline, Joe Wright was once eying "The Little Mermaid" as his next directing vehicle. Wright has now been signed on to sit behind the lens for Warner Bros.' "Pan (2015)" which focuses on the origin story of Peter Pan.