Say what now? A live-action Little Mermaid?

Senior Editor
07.08.10 27 Comments

I’m not one of those people who gets nostalgic about old Disney movies, but I do have a soft spot for The Little Mermaid, on account of it convincing so many skanks that going topless with pasties or long hair is an acceptable Halloween costume (and also because the intro to “Under the Sea” kind of sounds like “Rudie Can’t Fail” by the Clash).  Now the word is that Working Title is planning a live-action version of the Little Mermaid.  Only it’s going to be an adaptation of the

Joe Wright, who directed The Soloist for London-based Working Title, is developing a live-action feature of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale. This adaptation, written by Abi Morgan (Brick Lane), has been particularly inspired by a production staged by The Little Angel Theatre Company using puppets. [Deadline]

Puppets, sure.  Whatever.  The original fairy tale is lot like the Disney version in that it’s still about a mermaid who falls in love with a prince and wants to become human, but it also has some quirks. For instance, Merfolk live for 300 years and then turn into sea foam, whereas humans live human life spans, but get to go to heaven (as long as they pray to Jesus).  Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia’s plot summary:

The Little Mermaid, longing for the prince and an eternal soul, eventually visits the Sea Witch, who sells her a potion that gives her legs, in exchange for her tongue (as the Little Mermaid has the most intoxicating voice in the world).  Drinking the potion will make her feel as if a sword is being passed through her, yet when she recovers she will have two beautiful legs, and will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before. However, it will constantly feel like she is walking on sharp swords, and her feet will bleed most terribly. In addition, she will only get a soul if the prince loves her and marries her, for then a part of his soul will flow into her. Otherwise, at dawn on the first day after he marries another woman, the Little Mermaid will die brokenhearted and disintegrate into sea foam.

So if she doesn’t marry a handsome prince, she’ll turn into worthless sea foam?  That actually sounds a lot like most Hollywood Rom-Coms.  “Next Summer… Jennifer Lopez and McCreamy star in… Mer-Made in Manhattan!”

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