Sofia Coppola, the daughter of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, will take a shot at adapting a live-action version of a fairy tale that was made popular by a Disney animated movie. According to reports, Coppola will direct a live-action adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale “The Little Mermaid.” According to reports, Coppola will use the original story as her source material and the movie will have nothing to do with the classic Disney animated film.
The idea of Coppola making “The Little Mermaid” is a curious turn of events.
One of the last people movie fans might expect to tackle a fairy tale is Sofia Coppola. While her father did direct a fantastic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” Sofia has actually stuck with more realist independent flavored movies including “Lost in Translation,” “The Virgin Suicides” and “Somewhere.” These are all movies about people stuck in a life they may not fully understand or like and all are pretty much just meditations on life itself. Also, none of them require a mermaid tail to be attached to an actor and filmed underwater. This could be Coppola’s chance to really branch out. Fans should be warned that “The Little Mermaid” story has a much more depressing ending than the Disney movie.
A History of Live-Action Fairy Tales
The ideas of fairy tales played out in live-action stories seem to be all the rage on TV recently, with “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” both hits shows. However, the movies have seen their fair share of live-action fairy tales pass their way as well. All the way back in 1946, French director Jean Cocteau directed one of the most amazing fairy tale adaptations with his “Beauty and the Beast.” It remains up there with the Disney animated version as one of the best fairy tale adaptations ever made. On the other end of the spectrum is “Hook,” based on the story of Peter Pan and starring Robin Williams as the boy who never grew up.
The Current Flavor of the Day
However, the one thing to keep in mind is that “Once Upon a Time” has caused a large groundswell of Hollywood filmmakers wanting to bring the classic fairy tales to life. Joe Wright (“Pride & Prejudice”) is directing a live-action version of “Pan,” focusing on Peter Pan’s origin story. Angelina Jolie is starring in “Maleficent,” telling the story of “Sleeping Beauty” from the witch’s point of view. Also on tap is a live-action version of “The Jungle Book,” which actor Andy Serkis has signed on to direct.
For these live-action fairy tale movies to succeed, they need to stand out. Having an art house director like Sofia Coppola directing it is one way to make sure it is different than the rest.