Though Sofia Coppola’s abrupt exit threatened to sink the live-action feature some months ago, The Wrap now reports that Universal has found its Ariel for the retelling of classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid in Chloë Grace Moretz.
Prior to Coppola’s departure from the nascent project, reports suggested that the director had lobbied to cast relative unknown Maya Thurman-Hawke in the title role, though the studio had intended to cast a known quantity – and they’ve certainly found that in Moretz. Universal’s reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved children’s story has also welcomed a new addition to the fray on the other side of the lens, with Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually‘s Richard Curtis in negotiations to pen the screenplay, which would have him doctoring the original treatment served up by Caroline Thompson.
A new lease of life all around, then. Prior to today’s news, Universal’s The Little Mermaid looked to have quietly slipped off the radar in the wake of Coppola’s exit, though by drafting in both Moretz and Curtis, the studio has fired the project back into the zeitgeist. Telling the origins tale of Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian, the live-action take will see the former mermaid princess fall head over heels for a would-be prince after she rescues him from drowning.
Developed in tandem with Working Title, it’s understood that Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce on behalf of the production company, while Liza Chasin and Amelia Granger are attached to executive produce.
Before Chloë Grace Moretz heads under the sea for Universal’s The Little Mermaid, the actress will be next seen opposite Zac Efron and Seth Rogen for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and alien invasion thriller The 5th Wave, which are on course for release on May 6, 2016 and January 15, 2016, respectively.
Source: The Wrap