EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Coppola, who in March aligned herself to direct the live-action Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid, has just dropped out of the Universal Pictures and Working Title film. The all-encompassing “creative differences” is being cited.
Universal and Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are pressing ahead, with a Caroline Thompson rewrite on the story of 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.
This was a departure for Coppola, whose past projects have focused on adult themes. She hasn’t lined up the next feature, but wrapped A Very Murray Christmas, the Netflix project she directed and wrote with Bill Murray and Mitch Glazer. It’s an homage to the classic variety show featuring Murray playing himself, as he worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snow storm in New York City. Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at the Carlyle hotel to help him; dancing and singing in holiday spirit. The cast includes George Clooney, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Miley Cyrus, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones, Rick Ross, Julian Casablancas, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Schaffer, Jenny Lewis, Lilly Burns and Buster Pointdexter.
Here’s a teaser for that project, which re-teamed her with her Lost In Translation star.