Ariel Will be Returning
Sofia Coppola of "Lost in Translation" and "Marie Antoinette" fame is in talks with Universal Pictures to film a live action version of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale "The Little Mermaid."
Nothing is definite yet. Caroline Thompson of "Edward Scissorhands" is writing up a script, which already has gone through a sequence of previous writers and drafts. Kelly Marcel ("Fifty Shades of Grey") and Abi Morgan ("Shame") have worked on previous drafts, and since their works were not for kids, one may assume that this Mermaid will have a different tone than Disney's version.
The Disney film "The Little Mermaid" was light and bouncy, featuring spritely mermaid Ariel dueling with a devious nemesis in Ursula the sea witch. The original story, though, is tragic and romantic. This version of the story could be darker and more intense, though there is no indication (thank goodness) that it will be told from Ursula's viewpoint or anything like that.
People may think that Disney owns the rights to the classic tales, but they are in the public domain and thus free to everyone. In fact, Warner Bros. currently has its own plans for a Peter Pan film, "Pan," to be directed by Joe Wright. Disney is working up its own Peter Pan film, "Peter and the Starcatchers," as well as a new version of "The Jungle Book," which was a memorable 1967 animated feature film and, in fact, the last one that Walt Disney himself supervised. Disney currently has "Maleficent" in theaters featuring Angelina Jolie, based on an inversion of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale.