EXCLUSIVE: Disney has made Rob Marshall the top choice to direct The Little Mermaid, the live action adaptation of the animated classic musical that will have new songs by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken, sources said. Miranda and Marc Platt are producing. I’ve heard that Marshall has been offered the movie, is reading the Jane Goldman script and will take until after the holidays to decide. Sources expect him to board the project right after the new year.
Marshall, who helmed the Oscar-winning Chicago, most recently directed Mary Poppins Returns, the new installment of another Disney classic which stars Emily Mortimer, Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke. That film is set for release December 25, 2018. He also directed by billion dollar grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides for Disney.
While everyone is buzzing about the overwhelming theatrical powerhouse Disney will become if it acquires the film, TV and international assets of Fox, Disney’s live action division has been putting together some blockbusters in its own right. Nearly done is Aladdin with Will Smith playing the genie, and next up is The Lion King, with Beyonce heading that ensemble. Marshall is repped by CAA.