Once upon a time, Sofia Coppola was set to make a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid for Universal. And then, after a long period of uncertainty, she wasn’t. At the time, the usual “creative differences” excuses was touted as the reason for Coppola’s departure from the project, and that nearly looked as if it could be the end of the whole shebang. But while no replacement director has been tapped yet, the project is most definitely going ahead as its just found its star in Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass, Hugo).
Variety is reporting that the popular 18-year old actress will play the titular character in this new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairytale. The story was of course most famously adapted by Disney for their hugely successful 1989 animated film, but the story has been done several times for the stage and screen. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with any of of those versions, the basic story follows an unnamed mermaid princess who falls in love with a handsome human prince who she saves from drowning. Desperate to spend time with her beau, she turns to a scheming sea witch who gives her a potion that turns her human and unable to return to the sea, but renders her mute. Cue lots of romanticisms and a slightly dodgy message about how females should change themselves drastically to win a man (that last part kind of gets glossed over in the Disney version, but in exchange you get a singing Jamaican crab).
Universal thought they had the kernel of a good idea here, so they’ve tapped acclaimed British filmmaker Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually) pen a new version of the script, though its unclear just how close to the original story this version will be. Moretz is an extremely talented young actress though, so I’m certain that she could sell just about any approach that they decide on.
In fact, its being reported that Universal had actually earmarked Moretz for the role for quite some time now already because of her clear talent and star appeal, but that Sofia Coppola had been unwilling”to go with a star like Moretz” – maybe she wanted a lesser-known actress – and that this was actually why she left the film. Now that Curtis has officially been brought on board again, and the production is now once again alive, they felt that they could now reveal their star.
There’s no date set yet for The Little Mermaid, but both Moretz and Curtis have either just wrapped up productions or are busy wrapping up productions and then have their schedules pretty free. Now they just need to find a director… and way to work this classic song into the mix.
PS: Yes, I think “Kiss the girl” is better than “Under the sea”. I guess I’m just a closet romantic. Or I’ve just heard way too many damn times while sitting in a NuMetro cinema waiting on the movie to start.
Last Updated: November 9, 2015