Sofia Coppola, who won an Oscar for her script for Lost in Translation, has been hired to direct a live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, which Universal is currently fast-tracking to get made as soon as possible. And there are a number of easy jokes to be made here, but we’ll try to avoid them.
According to Deadline, they’ve already had two writers on the project but it’s Caroline Thompson (best known for Edward Scissorhands and Black Beauty) who has been brought in to deliver a shooting script. This would then be the first time Coppola’s worked on a movie without writing the film herself, so we imagine she’ll be working closely with Thompson to make it her own, with the film looking to start shooting as soon as possible.
Again, we’re going to avoid the easy jokes here. The reality is that though Coppola has won an Oscar and is a respected artist, her last couple films have not broken out like her crossover success with Lost in Translation, which made $44 Million domestically in 2003 (and much more internationally). And though Coppola has traditionally worked with low budgets (Marie Antoinette is her most expensive film at $40 Million), the market for theatrically-released independent movies is getting smaller and smaller, and Coppola hasn’t had a hit in over ten years, which means that she’s going to have to make a commercial movie (and a successful one at that) if she wants to keep making movies. This is likely a good fit for the director, and could guarantee her some artistic freedom. It’s hard to think of a better choice for the material, if it is to be made.
Can you think of someone who could do a better job?