According to Deadline, Disney is in the initial stages of developing a live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Continue reading for more details.
The report states that this retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson tale will be a “new take”. It is unknown at this time what that means exactly and whether it will be a musical like Beauty and the Beast or not like Cinderella. Disney recently had a “re-telling” of the Sleeping Beauty story through the eyes of the “villain” Maleficent. Could this follow along those lines and follow Ursula? Could we see the events of the movie through another character’s eyes (Sebastian, Flounder, Prince Erik, etc.) similar to how Disney is developing a movie centered around Snow White’s sister? Could we get a film that highlights a photo-realistic sea kingdom much the same way Jungle Book provided incredible visuals for Mowgli’s Jungle home? There’s still lots of questions.
The other thing to take into consideration is that there’s another Little Mermaid project currently in development. That film from Universal and Working Title, stars Chloe Grace Moretz in the lead and will be directed by Rebecca Thomas from a screenplay by Richard Curtis (About Time). The project has been in development for quite some time and at one point even had Sofia Coppola attached to direct. Not much is known about this project either, but it is expected to stick more closely to the original Hans Christian Anderson tale.
I was born in 1984 and grew up in the golden age of Disney with such movies like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. With the many live action adaptations in the works at the Mouse House, it seemed like a no-brainer to develop such a well-known and well-loved property like The Little Mermaid. I’m surprised this announcement didn’t come much much sooner. Hopefully the film will be able to incorporate the songs (or at least some of them like The Jungle Book did) because Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s score was simply fantastic.
This movie now joins the ranks of live action adaptations in various stages of development such as Beauty and the Beast (first trailer here), Cruella, Dumbo, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, A Tinker Bell Movie, Mulan, Pinocchio, Sword in the Stone, Winnie the Pooh, Night on Bald Mountain, Prince Charming, Genie (which could potentially set up a new Aladdin) and a movie about Snow White’s sister. There’s also sequels already announced for Maleficent and Jungle Book (with Alice in Wonderland’s sequel coming out Friday). Between their animated features, live action adaptations, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc. Disney is doing fairly well for themselves at the moment.
There’s no release date set for the adaptation of The Little Mermaid, but I will keep you updated with any new information about this project.