Chloe Grace Moretz, the 18-year-old actress and starrer of films such as “The Amityville Horror” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” lands the lead role of Ariel in a Working TitleUniversal adaptation of Disney’s well-loved “The Little Mermaid” in a live-action version of the film. This will be a retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale of a mermaid who falls in love with a man she saves from drowning and exchanges her voice to become human. The actress confirmed the news by retweeting MTV UK’s tweet, “@ChloeGMoretz will star in live-action Little Mermaid film (HYPERVENTILATES).”
Talks are ongoing for Richard Curtis to write it, Variety reports. However, his involvement looks pretty much in the bag with Moretz’s post on Instagram saying alongside a shot of the Variety report, “Here it is!! I’ve been waiting months to tell everyone how excited I am to take on this beautiful journey with Working Title, Universal, and a beautiful script by Richard Curtis.”
Considering Moretz’s background not just in drama but also of the horror genre—and the significance in Universal’s rather than Disney’s involvement—this reinterpretation may tell the tale closer to the tragic original by Andersen than Disney’s 1989 animation.
The film will be produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Executive producers are Liza Chasin and Amelia Granger. Universal Studios will have Executive Vice President of Production Eric Baiers and creative executive Chloe Yellin overseeing the project.
Screenwriter and director Sofia Coppola was briefly attached with the project as director but exited in June due to creative differences. Variety pointed to Coppola’s unwillingness to work with Moretz on the remake as the reason for her leaving the project.
Moretz had been the main choice for the role of Ariel, but the studio wanted to keep a lid on it until they could finalize a writer for the last pass at the script. No official word has come out yet finalizing Curtis’ involvement, but it may not be long in coming.
Curtis’ projects include “Four Weddings and A Funeral” and the recent “Trash,” starring Rooney Mara, which he wrote and directed.
The project is not dated as yet and is still searching for a director. Until then, Moretz will be busy with her other projects, presently filming “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” which is also from Universal Studios. Her upcoming films for release next year are “The Fifth Wave” and “November Criminals.”