What sounded like a pairing of director and concept that could be either spectacular or spectacularly awful, is now no longer a possibility. Deadline is reporting that Sofia Coppola has left the new live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale The Little Mermaid, leaving producers Working Title Films and Universal to look for a new director.
Though this is certainly a blow to the project, as of now, it is still moving ahead. Joe Wright was at one time interested in directing, so it will be interesting to see what happens, given the recent news that he’s also interested in directing Working Title’s The Lifeboat.
This would have been an interesting though not completely out-of-left-field project for Coppola, had she stayed on. The director has never before worked on a fairytale, though she has excelled at telling coming-of-age style stories centered around young women, as evidences to varying degrees in The Virgin Suicides (1999), Lost in Translation (2003), Marie Antoinette (2006), and Somewhere (2010).
Coppola’s next project is a reunion with actor Bill Murray in the form of a Netflix-produced feature called A Very Murray Christmas, which will debut on the streamer site this December. As for what the director lines up after that, we’ll have to wait and see.