Chloe Moretz will star in Universal and Working Title’s long-gestating “The Little Mermaid,” to be written by “Love Actually” screenwriter Richard Curtis, as producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner attempt to revive the troubled project once more. No replacement for director Sofia Coppola, who left the film this spring citing “creative differences,” has been named.
Moretz and Curtis’ involvement marks at least the third iteration of the live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, which has been in development since at least 2011. Frequent Working Title collaborator Joe Wright (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement”) was once attached, before drafts by “Fifty Shades of Grey” screenwriter Kelly Marcel and “Suffragette” scribe Abi Morgan stalled; Coppola signed on in March of this year, with a planned rewrite by Caroline Thompson (“Edward Scissorhands”).
It’s unclear whether the project will follow in the footsteps of Disney’s effervescent animated version or the source material’s dark magic, though Curtis’ past work is more obviously mainstream than any of the previous writers. As for Moretz, she has four films slated for release next year, including “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” “Brain on Fire,” and “November Criminals.”