Sony Pictures just picked up a new project: a dark retelling of the classic Little Mermaid tale.
Let’s start with the basics. We know The Little Mermaid as a cutesy little story about a young mermaid princess who makes a deal with the sea witch so that she can marry her prince on land. Right? Well, in this new version, based on the book Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon, the mermaid isn’t the only lady we’re worried about. This new tale finds two women vying for the same man, but instead of one being the enemy and one being the adorable Disney princess, they’ve both got sympathetic back stories. One is a princess from a war-ravaged country who undertakes a dangerous journey to find and marry the prince of her country’s rival kingdom, but there’s something in the way. A mermaid also fell for the prince and, like in the Disney movie, she’s sacrificed everything to be with him. There’s no easy side in this twisted re-imagining of the classic story (though it does bear a little more resemblance to the Hans Christian Andersen version that the Disney one did).
This project has the potential, if handled correctly, to be a deliciously twisted film. The folks behind it are the ones who brought us Country Strong: writer and director Shana Feste and producers Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping. This is about a million miles from something like Country Strong and Feste has only a few projects under her belt, so it’s a little tough to call this one. She’s fairly new to the game and this is a real opportunity to show what she’s capable of and maybe, just maybe, she’ll serve up a delightful surprise.