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Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action Remake)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jake Lipson, Dec 6, 2017 at 1:30 PM.

  1. 1 Dec 6, 2017 at 1:30 PM
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 4:15 PM
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    It looks like Disney is getting closer to starting on the remake of The Little Mermaid. They've offered the director's chair to Rob Marshall, who has made four musicals for Disney already: the TV version of Annie from the late '90s, Chicago (for then-Disney-owned Mirimax), Into the Woods and, most recently, Mary Poppins Returns, which opens next Christmas. He also made Nine for TWC and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides for Disney. And, while it is probably least relevant to this discussion of all of his films, there's also Memoirs of a Geisha, which I liked.

    Following the success of Beauty and the Beast, I suspected that this would be offered to either Bill Condon (who has since committed to The Bride of Frankenstein at Universal) or Marshall,

    Deadline says he will take until after the holidays to decide, which is reasonable, but I really hope he takes it. This also would seem to indicate that Disney is happy with what they've seen roll in from Mary Poppins, which is good, too.

    http://deadline.com/2017/12/the-little-mermaid-rob-marshall-top-choice-disney-mary-poppins-returns-1202220650/

    The other big add for this film of someone who wasn't there before is that Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Moana and, of course, Hamilton) will be the lyricist for new songs, succeeding the dearly departed Howard Ashman. Glenn Slater, who was the lyricist for new material in the Broadway show, does not appear to be involved, so the new songs he worked on are probably not being used. Lin is a huge Little Mermaid fanboy, for lack of a better term, and even named his son Sebastian after the crab, so his involvement is a plus to me, because as a fan of the original he will advocate for it to be protected and respected. And of course Alan Menken is providing the score again.

    My feeling on this remake is the same as the other ones we've recently been discussing. They don't need to do it, but there's no point in getting argumentative about that, since they are going to do it. As long as it's happening, I'm choosing to get excited, and I am glad that, so far, they are assembling a group of top talent to do it.

    No release date has yet been set for the remake, but given that Disney's slate is pretty full until then, I would guess 2020 or 2021, which also gives them plenty of time to work on it.
     
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  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Is this one also coming in 2019? :D
     
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  3. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    Josh, :laugh: -- I hope not.
     
  4. 4 Dec 6, 2017 at 3:36 PM
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 3:48 PM
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    Deadline originally reported the Marshall news, but Variety's story on same adds that "Jane Goldman wrote the script."

    http://variety.com/2017/film/news/little-mermaid-reboot-disney-rob-marshall-1202632266/

    I wasn't aware that there was a script yet, but I like Jane Goldman's name being attached to it. She is a frequent writing partner with Matthew Vaughn, including X-Men: Fist Class, Kick-Ass and Kingsman. But most relevant to The Little Mermaid, I think, is that she co-wrote Vaughn's fantasy adventure romance film, Stardust, which unfortunately bombed ten years ago. But it is one of my favorite films and, if Goldman is going to tap into that sensibility again, we could be in for a treat with her doing Mermaid.

    If you haven't seen Stardust, you really should -- it's streaming on Prime for anyone curious, or of course the Blu-ray is cheap now since it's a catalog title. Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Stardust-Charlie-Cox/dp/B0010Z32OA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1512596776&sr=8-2&keywords=stardust
     
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  5. TJPC

    TJPC Screenwriter

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    We recently saw the live action touring company and really did not like it at all. (Why am I so negative lately?!). Well to be fair really, two adults in their 60s is not the target audience.

    The little girls, especially those dressed as Ariel, seemed to love it. Unlike the live musical of Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Shrek however, there was very little to appeal to adults at all.
     
  6. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    I saw the tour recently as well. Diana Huey as Ariel is an absolute boss. They would be smart to consider hr for the movie role, but they probably won't because they'll want someone who is a big name. That being said, I think the staging and especially the book of the musical are deeply flawed.

    Like Beauty and the Beast, I also don't think the film remake is going to use anything from the stage production at all, which won't be a huge loss in my opinion. "If Only" is the best of the added songs for the show, but they'll nix it and have Ariel silent for the whole second part of the film, as they should. (For those who don't know, in the stage production, Ariel sings in multiple parts of the second half after she traded her voice away to Ursula, but they are her internal thoughts which only she and the audience can hear.)

    The new film will have the advantage of CGI and multiple takes, so it won't have to deal with the stagebound question of how to make a live-action of mermaids and sea animals that doesn't look ridiculous.
     

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