THR is reporting this morning that London-based Working Title Films has reached a deal with director Joe Wright to create a live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's seminal fairytale The Little Mermaid. No, this will not be Splash 3: Madison Goes Broadway.
The announcement was made by Working Title heads Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, who also confirmed Brick Lane writer Abi Morgan as the scriptwriter. Unfortunately there isn't a heck of a lot more in the way of details, but Working Title has historically allowed their directors a good amount of control over their projects and I'm pretty confident in Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) to deliver a non-Disney-fied version of the classic tale. The real question is, which version of HCA's The Little Mermaid ending will they use: the bizarrely retconned "daughters of air" conclusion or the original one where she just dissolves into sea foam? Since the former is the official published version it'll probably be the one to make it to film (if they stay faithful to the source material, that is), but since it also involves scaring children into behaving lest a year be siphoned off their lives for each bad deed they do, well, kind of makes the movie a tough sell for the family film crowd.
Wait a second. Children bawling their eyes out and fleeing theaters in terror? Sign me up!