Director wanted: for the new live-action rendition of “The Little Mermaid.” Sofia Coppola has walked away from the project with Universal Studios and Working Title, citing creative differences.
Coppola, the award-winning director behind “Lost in Translation,” “Somewhere” and “The Bling Ring,” broke the deal over irreconcilable creative differences between her and the creative forces at Universal Studios. The live-action film was in the stages of pre-production when Coppola departed the project. She was announced to direct the movie in March 2014.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, casting was underway in London with the Working Title producers of "The Little Mermaid," Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, overseeing the project. A source reports Coppola met with the two producers recently and that the studio is hoping to stick to the original shooting schedule.
As this "Mermaid" is a Universal Studios live-action project, it will likely bear little resemblance to Disney’s classic animated adaptation. The Caroline Thompson-penned script would possibly follow the Hans Christian Andersen tragic story more closely than the cheery 1989 film. Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was a part of the studio’s renaissance that also included “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Deadline reports Coppola had no other immediate projects scheduled after "The Little Mermaid." She recently wrapped "A Very Murray Christmas," a film with her “Lost in Translation” star Bill Murray for Netflix. The special follows the actor as he worries that none of his famous friends will turn out for a TV show appearance because of bad weather around the holiday.