Sofia Coppola's movies have often had a dream-like quality to them, so it doesn't seem that strange that the director is signing up to direct a fairy tale project, specifically a new, live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
Coppola's Little Mermaid will have nothing to do with the 1989 Disney musical. As Mike Fleming Jr. reports at Deadline, the project from Universal Pictures and Working Title is based on Hans Christian Andersen's original tale, a far more depressing affair than anything Disney put out. (Spoiler alert: at the end of the original tale, the Little Mermaid dissolves into sea foam.)
For a filmmaker who has developed a very recognizable pattern with movies (Lost in Translation, Somewhere, The Virgin Suicides) about dreamy young things adrift in their lives, The Little Mermaid actually promises something entirely new for Coppola. For one, it will be the first time she'll direct a feature for which she didn't write the screenplay. According to Fleming, Caroline Thompson, who wrote the screenplay for Edward Scissorhands and has worked on other Tim Burton projects, will be the latest writer to take a stab at the script. Coppola also hasn't done a movie requiring special effects to the extent a Little Mermaid interpretation will likely require, even though she was apparently approached to direct a Twilight movie. She could, however, probably convince Phoenix to do the soundtrack.
Even though fairy tale reboots—from Joe Wright's Pan to Disney affairs like Cinderella and Maleficent—seem to be the trend du jour, Coppola's Little Mermaid stands out as something we especially want to see. Now someone just needs to cast Shailene Woodley in the title role.