Breaking News: It looks like Academy Award winner Sofia Coppola is negotiating to direct a live-action version of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairytale The Little Mermaid for Universal Pictures and Working Title (not Disney). Frequent Tim Burton collaborator and screenwriter Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) is re-writing the script, which would be the first time Sofia isn’t writing a film she’s directing. It looks like previous projects of the film, which even involved Joe Wright at some point, fell through.
A ‘Little Mermaid‘ adaptation certainly would be a departure from what Sofia is known for, especially if the film ends up being kid-friendly (PG-13 or PG even), like The Hollywood Reporter is indicating. The original fairytale is fairly twisted and dark, but Sofia always said that she makes movies for “her friends”. It looks like this time she wants to make a film her daughters Romy (8) and Cosima (4) will be able to enjoy. Certainly there will be room to explore themes near and dear to the director’s heart like becoming a young woman, but maybe also loneliness and ennui, who knows.
While I’m worried over how much creative control Sofia will be able to have in a project like this one, which will also undoubtedly have a bigger budget, I’m excited because this means we’ll get another film from her soon. In the meantime let me do some fantasy casting: How about Elle Fanning as the little mermaid? She was absolutely fantastic in Somewhere. I think this is going to be great, but I’m obviously a little biased, so I’ll ask you guys: What do you think? Does this sound cool? Who would you like to play the title role?