After seeing The Virgin Suicides at a somewhat young age, I became entranced with Sofia Coppola. The film came out when she was only 28, and that was around the same time her romance with Spike Jonze (so cool!) truly blossomed. Plus, she’s cousins with Jason Schwartzman, as well as Nicholas Cage. I haven’t even mentioned Lost In Translation yet, which brought her the opportunity to be the youngest woman ever to gain an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
If I ever had the chance to meet Sofia, I’d probably embarrass myself by clamming up and saying something like, “So – what did Bill Murray whisper to Scarlett Johansson at the end of that film?” And she’d be like “Uh – Karen, that was open to interpretation, and you’re the billionth person who has asked me this.” Then, upon her abrupt yet reasonable exit, I’d whisper-shout “You’re amazing!” and then marathon her films alone, from the comfort of my own home.
Now, Sofia might do something that’ll make her cooler – which I didn’t even think was possible. Since she’s happily married with children whom she had with husband Thomas Mars, it’d make sense for her next project to be a bit more appropriate for youngsters (and not filled with – you know – a young girl impaling herself on an iron fence.) What’s a better place to start than a live-action version of The Little Mermaid?
While the movie has been talked about for a bit, Sofia just recently replaced Atonement director Joe Wright, who had previously been attached to the film. The project will be softer than her other films, yet it’ll stick to the plot of the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. So in short, it’ll be a bit more heartbreaking – and possibly a bit painful, as well. Here’s an exerpt of the synopsis (which is a bit different than the version you’ve probably seen through Disney):
‘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.’
Oof. Let’s hope the prince realizes what he has, and doesn’t turn our favorite mermaid into a bunch of foam. That being said – here are some reasons as to why this film will be absolutely amazing.
1. We’ve grown up with The Little Mermaid – and we’re ready for her to mature.
I distinctly remember the Disney film coming out when I was in 3rd grade. Back in 3rd grade, films are a big deal. Every kid in your class has seen the same movies you have. It’s rare for a film to stick with you for so long, but Disney made it happen – probably based on their catchy tunes and strong story lines.
However, as an adult, I realize now that every woman isn’t set up with their Prince Charming. With an adaptation today, it’d be interesting to view a strong woman who might not necessarily land a man so easily – especially based solely on the fact that he’s a “human”.
2. It’s currently being re-written by Carolyn Thompson.
Carolyn Thompson also wrote Edward Scissorhands, which is not only a classic, but an introduction of the wonderful Johnny Depp to many females. She’s actually worked with Tim Burton a few times, and if Tim Burton is known for anything – it’s the presentation of friendly (yet somewhat grim) films to a large audience. Carolyn is a woman to be trusted – not just based on her credentials, but based on the fact that she was presented with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award at the 2011 Austin Film Festival.
3. We’re ready for a non-fairy tale ending.
While I love Disney, I know that they’re somewhat fond of the “princess ends up with the prince” situation.
With Hans Christian Andersen, the stories are a bit dimmer. And honestly? That might be really good. If this movie is kid-friendly, as I’m lead to believe, it might be a great lesson. In Andersen’s version, Ariel starts out as a quiet, pensive kid. Just like myself. (I would have run away from that weird King-Triton-run pageant, but based on absolute fear! Not boredom, and hair fork discoveries.) While his version had a super grim ending, maybe that’s a relief for your typical heroine in 2014.
4. Because Ariel deserves to finally have legs.
Like, real legs. Sure, animated Ariel wobbled at first, and clothed herself poorly – but she figured it out pretty quickly. But to see a human actually act like she gained a new form of mobility for the first time? Interesting.
5. Since Sofia Coppola probably won’t screw this up.
While some of her movies were massive hits and others just slid by, nobody ever said the lesser known films were terrible. They probably just had small releases. Sofia is currently 42-years-old, so she probably saw the Disney version when she was fresh into college. She’s young enough to know that this is a big deal, so she probably won’t ruin it for the fans. (Also: see above, where I mention how crazy talented this girl is.)
6. Because we’re all looking forward to see who’ll portray Ariel. Are they looking for a red-head? Or will they try to find someone completely different from the vision we’re used to? It’ll be more interesting to us than the failed casting of the Fifty Shades of Grey film. With a movie like this, the casting will make us angry if the team behind the film makes a mistake. I mean – these are beloved characters!
Will you be in line to see this movie, or will you just remain true to the animated version you know and love?