When Tim Burton‘s “Alice In Wonderland” hit $1 billion worldwide, Disney knew they were onto something, and the success of “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” and “The Jungle Book” confirmed it — there is a big audience for live action redos/prequels/remakes of their classic animated and fairy tale movies. How big? The trailer for the upcoming “Beauty And The Beast“ starring Emma Watson broke the record for most views in its first 24 hours, beating both “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Captan America: Civil War.” And with a number of live action projects in development including the Alex Ross Perry-penned “Winnie The Pooh,” the Tim Burton-directed “Dumbo,” the Emily Blunt-starring “Mary Poppins,” “Tinker Bell” with Reese Witherspoon, and the Emma Stone-led “Cruella,” Disney is looking for more projects to apply their winning formula to.
Deadline reports that the studio is now eyeballing their “The Little Mermaid” as a potential live action candidate. It’s still very early — no writers, directors or stars are linked yet — but it’s hardly surprising. Their 1989 animated movie was an Oscar winning smash hit, however, Disney does face some competition. Universal has their own project based on the Hans Christian Anderson fable gearing up with Chloe Grace Moretz slated to star, and Rebecca Thomas (“Electrick Children“) directing a script by Richard Curtis (“Love Actually,” “Notting Hill“). And certainly, neither Disney or Universal want to be caught in the same situation as Warner Bros. is in right now with “Origins: Jungle Book” — playing second fiddle to a smash hit.
So, we’ll see where this goes, but in any event, there will likely be a live action “The Little Mermaid” coming your way in the future, whether it’s from Disney or elsewhere.