Breaking news from ComingSoon.net:
Fifty Shades of Grey and Saving Mr. Banks screenwriter Kelly Marcel has signed on to adapt the (FTNH edit: first English language live action feature film version of) Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Little Mermaid, Deadline reports. The Working Title Films production will be directed by Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Hanna, Jane Eyre).The project was announced back in 2010 with Abi Morgan the screenwriter attached at the time. Apparently things are back on track for the fairy tale film and this time around Ms. Marcel will be retooling the script.
As much of the information appears the same, I'll quote from the July 2010 announcement on Collider.com:
Per Variety, the pic has been adapted by British writer Abi Morgan [FTNH edit: Now Ms. Marcel and the notorious Fifty Shades of Grey connection] and was inspired by a puppet-production... of the tale by The Little Angel Theatre based in London. While Andersen’s tale has been adapted numerous times around the world and across different media platforms (including a 1976 Russian live-action film and a 2005 Danish ballet), Wright’s take will be the first live-action adaptation of the story to be made in English.
While I can't find mention of how true to Andersen's tale the Little Angel Theater's production was, to give us any indication of what sort of film this will be (although the image above is of some of their puppets and looks rather Little Mermaid-ish to me), all seem to be in agreement that even if it is kid-friendly, it's still going to be darker than Disney's version (and very unlikely to have singing sea life). I just wonder how much pressure there will be to give an already dark story (if you're looking at Andersen's original) an even darker edge, now that the Fifty Shades screenwriter is attached?
Either way, we're likely to see lots of tail puns in the coming headlines (and that necktie on the Fifty Shades cover looks an awful lot like grey scales if you tilt it just right... O.o).
At least it will help this fairy tale adaptation get lots of attention!