Following in the footsteps of recent commercial success stories Alice in Wonderland (2010), Maleficent (2014) and Cinderella (2015), Disney may be tinkering with the idea of moving forward on a live-action version of The Little Mermaid. Originally, a classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the Mouse House released a beloved 1989 animated version of the story – the film’s success (as well as it’s Oscar winning music) revitalized Disney’s animated brand and helped usher in a golden age for the studio. In no small part, the film also revamped the musical genre.
Deadline was the first report that Disney may be tinkering with the idea and that possible talks have already taken place among executives for the studio and major producers. While there’s nothing more definitive than that to go on at the moment, Disney is clearly invested in mining their animated classics for live-action reboots and future franchises – for instance, this week comes the release of Alice Through the Looking Glass, a sequel to Tim Burton’s billion dollar 2010 grosser Alice in Wonderland. What’s more is their The Jungle Book revamp is currently minting coin at the box office around the globe as well as the massive viral launch of Disney’s recently released trailer for their 2017 live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens), which has already yielded record-breaking views.
As for The Little Mermaid, Disney does have some competition as another live-action take on the Anderson fairy tale is already in active development with Working Title and Universal. Director Rebecca Thomas is already attach to helm the project from a screenplay by Richard Curtis (About Time) with Chloë Grace Moretz (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) starring.
We shall stay tuned on what develops here. Disney does have a full slate of projects moving forward however including this summer’s Pete’s Dragon, the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast, a Cruella De Vil origin story with Emma Stone attached, The Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson set to star, a Tim Burton-helmed Dumbo and a Mary Poppins sequel set to star Emily Blunt and Hamilton sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda.