Back in November, we reported that Universal and Focus Features are moving forward with a live action remake of The Little Mermaid, which has Chloe Moretz on board to star as the title character. We haven't heard much about this project since then, but now it seems Disney is eyeing their own live action remake of this classic tale created by Hans Christian Andersen. Nothing is set in stone, but Disney has reportedly engaged in early talks with producers, including some who have longtime ties to the studio. The studio hasn't officially green lit the project, though, with the Universal movie probably coming first. Which could halt the project until further down the road, or all together.
Deadline reports that Disney's production heads recently heard a new take on The Little Mermaid, and are currently contemplating whether or not to move forward with the project. It isn't known who came up with this new idea, or if the studio has a director or screenwriter in mind to tackle this project. These developments aren't terribly surprising, though, given Disney's efforts to reimagine classic tales from their library.
Yesterday, we reported that the first Beauty and the Beast trailer was viewed a whopping 91.8 million times within the first 24 hours, breaking the record for most-viewed teaser trailer ever, set last year by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The highly-anticipated Beauty and the Beast is just part of Disney's live-action remake slate, with this weekend's Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pete's Dragon debuting on August 12 and many more in development including Cruella starring Emma Stone, Tim Burton's Dumbo and sequels to Mary Poppins, Maleficent and the current hit The Jungle Book also in the works.
As for the other Little Mermaid project, Rebecca Thomas has been set to direct from a script by Richard Curtis. Focus Features hasn't set a release date at this time, and it isn't known when production will actually begin. If Disney does move forward and put the project on a fast track to production, it's possible both studios could engage in a race to get their project to theaters first, but we'll have to wait and see. A similiar scenario happened with Disney's Jungle Book, which has proven to be a smash hit blockbuster, and Warner Bros. Jungle Book Origins, directed by Andy Serkis. Called a darker movie for adults, Warner Bros. has had to delay Origins.
It isn't known if this Disney movie will simply be a live-action version of the original 1989 animated classic, or if they will take a different approach to the story, but it definitely sounds like a twist is needed if its going to compete with Universal's live-action fairy tale. It's possible that this project simply won't move forward, but we'll have to wait and see. We'll be sure to keep you posted with any details on Disney's Little Mermaid remake, or Focus Features' project which stars Chloe Moretz.