Before you rear back from your computer screen in confusion that the person writing the 50 Shades of Grey movie could be doing a fairy tale flick as well, imagine, if you will, a reality in which Fifty Shades trilogy author E.L. James was tapped to write director Joe Wright‘s live-action version of The Little Mermaid instead.
There. Kelly Marcel getting the job doesn’t seem nearly so weird now, does it?
Wright, director of Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, and Anna Karenina, has been trying to get his version of The Little Mermaid going for a few years now. Unlike Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action Cinderella, Wright’s version isn’t associated with Disney in any way and will instead be based on a stage production in turn based on Hans Christian Anderson‘s original story, which is decidedly more gruesome than the Disney version. As in part of the Little Mermaid getting legs is that she feels like she’s walking on knives all the time. Oh, and the fact that she kills herself at the end.
Wright is pulling from the work of the Little Angel Theater, a family-friendly puppet company founded by his father, so we’re probably not looking at anything too traumatic for the young’uns to behold. But a review I found of the stage version does say that it keeps “true to the original by not sugar-coating it into a happy ‘Disney’ ending.” So that’s pretty cool.
As for Marcel, who also wrote Disney’s upcoming Saving Mr. Banks, she’s reportedly “making a deal” to adapt The Little Mermaid. Interestingly, Abi Morgan, who wrote Michael Fassbender‘s Shame, also worked on developing the project during its earlier stages. Dang. This movie’s really bringing all the writers-of-controversial-movies-about-sex to the yard, isn’t it? Can Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris) get a “thank you” credit or something?