EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Coppola is negotiating to direct The Little Mermaid, a live-action version of the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale for Universal Pictures and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Caroline Thompson of Edward Scissorhands fame is rewriting the script, about the mermaid willing to make a Faustian bargain to live on land after she falls in love. Previous drafts were done by Fifty Shades Of Grey scribe Kelly Marcel and Shame scribe Abi Morgan, and Joe Wright was at one time eyeing this to direct.
The intention is to move quickly. This is a departure for Coppola in that her projects are usually focused on adult themes. She’s got kids and it wouldn’t be shocking if she wanted to please them with a movie they can see and understand. Working Title is currently in production on Everest, the drama about the climbing disaster. The director is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Barry Hirsch. ICM also reps Thompson. Coppola last helmed The Bling Ring.