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Joe Wright Out, Sofia Coppola In to Direct 'The Little Mermaid'

Sofia Coppola directed Emma Watson in 'The Bling Ring' last year

The story of a girl who makes a huge life-changing decision in a desperate bid to find love? It sounds like something indie filmmaker Sofia Coppola would be well-suited for, and she's going to tell that story, not in another art house drama, but as director of a live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

The Lost in Translation and The Bling Ring director will take over for Joe Wright on the long-developing film about a mermaid who is granted her wish to live on land after falling in love. Wright had been attached for quite some time but with him now directing Pan, perhaps he felt one fairy tale was enough.

Abi Morgan (Shame) wrote the first draft of the script, described at the time as sticking closer to Hans Christian Anderson's dark fable than the popular animated Disney movie. Kelly Marcel took a crack at the script, only to have Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) take over.

This will be the biggest project Coppola's ever undertaken and an obvious gear shift for her, so it will be interesting to see how she handles it.

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