Disney is not going to stop with the live-action adaptations of their animated classics. Not as long as films like Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast keep making the box office gold that they are making. With films like Dumbo, Aladdin, Mulan, and The Lion King currently in the works, the studio is continuing to go through their vault of award-winning animated films and pairing them with an almost perfect creative team. Case in point, The Little Mermaid, which will have new songs by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken.
We reported on the film when it first broke in August of last year, and now there are new reports saying that the live-action film is looking to land Rob Marshall as director. More on the story below.
Deadline says Marshall is Disney’s top choice to direct the film. The director has already helmed three of Disney’s recent titles: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Into The Woods, and the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns, which just so happens to star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Now this does not mean that Marshall has taken the job. The report says he will take a look at Jane Goldman‘s script and give his final answer after the holiday. Not that the film is in a rush to hit production, considering that there is no release date for the live-action film.
In the animated Little Mermaid, Ariel was a rebellious mermaid princess who had dreams of walking among the humans, despite her father’s many objections. So she makes a deal with Ursula, a devious sea witch, who gives Ariel a pair of legs and the chance to be human forever on the condition that she give her voice and kiss the prince in three days. If she failed, she would be enslaved forever.
The fact that Miranda and Menken are being paired to work on the film tells us that the film will be a lot like the animated original. Menken returned to work on the live-action Beauty and the Beast, adding two new songs to it. Miranda has spoken a lot about his love for The Little Mermaid, going as far as naming his firstborn son Sebastian.
Marshall is no stranger to having helmed musicals. He directed Chicago long before he came in to direct both Into The Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. His non-musical credits also include Memoirs of a Geisha.