Sofia Coppola fangirls assemble! The indie star is to direct a live-action version of The Little Mermaid. The Bling Ring and Lost in Translation director replaces Atonement's Joe Wright and her appointment has us pretty excited. While we're huge fans of the Disney classic and can wail a good rendition of Part Of Your World, it cannot be denied that the house of mouse sugarcoated a pretty tragic tale. In the original version the Prince rejects the mermaid and marries the princess his father wants him to. There is no reunion on a beach where the orchestral music swells and they live happily ever after with all their limbs. With Coppola's resume (The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette) we think we can expect a different take on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright was previously attached to the project but reports have emerged in recent days that he is firmly attached to Pan, a reworking of JM Barrie's Peter Pan stories. At the time of writing Pan's star-studded cast includes Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and the very handsome Garrett Hedlund, who'll be taking on Captain Hook.
Hollywood seems to have fallen under a spell regarding fairy tales. Kenneth Branagh's live action Cinderella lands next year. Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter count among the cast, but it is television's rising stars that take the main roles. Game of Thrones Richard Madden is Prince Charming and Lily James, who is the only bit of life left in the anemic Downton Abbey where she plays Lady Rose, is the titular heroine. Also in Disney development is a live action Beauty and The Beast. Meanwhile Angelina Jolie and her cheekbones are set to invade the summer box office in Maleficent, an origin story about Sleeping Beauty's villainess.
The latest Maleficent trailer was released this week:
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutton