Wright had been attached to the project, however he dropped out and is set to direct Pan, the prequel to J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan.
The film will be a complete not-kid friendly departure for Coppola who is best known for her films such as The Virgin Suicides (1999), Lost in Translation (2003), Marie Antoinette (2006), Somewhere (2010), and most recently The Bling Ring (2013).
The themes of her films comprise of privilege, loneliness, and melancholia which makes Coppola a good candidate to direct The Little Mermaid. The live-action adaptation will be based on the darker tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen instead of Disney’s 1989 animated take.
In Andersen’s tale, a young mermaid willingly gives up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. She gives up her voice in return for legs, however there is a price. In order to remain human, the prince must fall in love and marry her. Of course, the prince falls for another woman and the mermaid is left heartbroken. In order to reverse the curse, the mermaid must kill the prince, however she refuses to do so, goes back into the ocean where she does not turn back into a mermaid but turns into foam and dies instead.
As to who will play the mermaid is still unclear. Coppola’s muses include Scarlett Johansson and Kirsten Dunst, however it is being rumored that Coppola would like Emma Watson (Harry Potter), who previously starred in The Bling Ring, as the young mermaid.
Stay tuned for more updates.