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Sofia Coppola to Helm Live-Action The Little Mermaid

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You may be used to seeing Sofia Coppola’s name attached to independent directing projects like The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. However, Deadline is reporting that Francis Ford’s daughter may be entering territory that not even the great The Godfather director has ever ventured, a live-action version of the classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid.

Coppola is currently working out a deal to deliver the Hans Christian Anderson children’s story to the big screen. There has never been a non-animated American feature film adaptation of the story. The last The Little Mermaid film came in 1989 and was an enormous box office hit.

The story centers upon a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince. In order for the mermaid to be with the prince, she makes a Faustian Bargain with a sea-witch that allows her to survive on land. Caroline Thompson, who wrote the screenplays for Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride is currently writing the script.

Coppola’s previous films have centered upon adult themes such as teen suicide, alienation, and excess. It would seem like The Little Mermaid is a huge departure from the darkness typically associated with her films. However, the current adaptation for the movie is being described as “exquisite and painful.”

Here’s a look at the synopsis, which doesn’t sound like a fairy tale at all.

The Little Mermaid, longing for the prince and an eternal soul, eventually visits the Sea Witch, who sells her a potion that gives her legs, in exchange for her tongue (as the Little Mermaid has the most intoxicating voice in the world). Drinking the potion will make her feel as if a sword is being passed through her, yet when she recovers she will have two beautiful legs, and will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before. However, it will constantly feel like she is walking on sharp swords, and her feet will bleed most terribly. In addition, she will only get a soul if the prince loves her and marries her, for then a part of his soul will flow into her. Otherwise, at dawn on the first day after he marries another woman, the Little Mermaid will die brokenhearted and disintegrate into sea foam.

The auteur director won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson led indie film Lost in Translation in 2003. She was the first American female to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. Lost in Translation was also nominated that year for Best Picture.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Sofia Coppola to Helm Live-Action The Little Mermaid
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