For her sixth movie, Sofia Coppola will be departing from the placid, meditative films that have defined her oeuvre thus far to make a live-action version of the Hans Christian Andersen tale. Chances are the film won’t be about Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian from the 1989 animated musical, as this will be a Universal production, not a Disney one.
The screenplay has already gone through Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks) and Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady), but it will be rewritten by Caroline Thompson (The Nightmare Before Christmas). There are no details yet on whether the Coppola’s movie will be a musical or what the age range of the target audience will be, but Deadline conjectures that, as a mother of two, Coppola might want to “please [her children] with a movie they can see and understand.”
Last year, The Bling Ring director told DGA Quarterly, “I don’t make the kind of movies that lend themselves to wide releases.” She’s apparently changed her mind since. Personally, I think it’s great news. Coppola can join the scarce ranks of women directors helming studio productions and branch out artistically to tell more universal stories.
In the meantime, you could do a lot worse than have this stuck in your head all day.