Swim on out of here, Ariel. Things are about to get pretty dark under the sea.

Sony reportedly is moving ahead with a mermaid project that puts a noir spin on the cherished Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. This new film, derived from Carolyn Turgeon’s novel Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale, shifts the story’s narrative focus in a totally different direction. Mermaid is told from the perspective of a downtrodden princess who hatches a scheme to marry the prince of her rival kingdom, thereby saving her people. The only problem, as she discovers, is that the prince’s heart belongs to a beautiful sea creature who has sacrificed everything so that they can be together.

Mermaid sounds like it is following a blueprint used by the Broadway sensation Wicked, which also retold an extremely familiar tale -- in that case, The Wizard of Oz -- but changed perspective and filled in gaps by viewing the entire story through the eyes of the Wicked Witch of the West. It was brilliant in both concept and execution, and we’ll be lucky if Sony’s Mermaid is half as effective.

The Hollywood Reporter says Sony is setting Mermaid up for Country Strong filmmaker Shana Feste, and she will write and direct the project with Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping producing through the actor’s Material Pictures banner.

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