Disney's live-action adaptations of its animated classics have finally found their rhythm and are rewarding the mega-studio with critical and commercial success. Beauty and the Beast is still currently the number one film at the domestic and worldwide box office this year, even though it's destined for number two. So the studio is flush, but Disney might be making a big purchase soon so it's going to need to refill Scrooge McDuck's vault. What better way to do it than with a remake of the film that kicked off Disney's second Golden Age? The live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid has been discussed for some time now and it looks like the studio may have finally settled on director Rob Marshall to helm the film.
According to Deadline, Disney has offered Rob Marshall the job but he will not be deciding on it until after the holidays. Should he ultimately choose to sign on, he will be in very good company. Alan Menken, who scored the original film, will be joined by none other than the do-no-wrong, highly in-demand Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is clearly a fan of the original film. The two will be providing new songs for the adaptation. Rob Marshall is no stranger to the musical genre, having directed the Oscar-winning Chicago as well as Into the Woods. He has also worked with the Mouse House before on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as well as the upcoming sequel/reboot Mary Poppins Returns.
This choice seems spot on for the studio. While Disney sometimes plays it too safe with these live-action adaptations, the studio always brings in great talent on both sides of the camera. The studio has had a ton of success of late with musicals, including films animated films like Frozen and Moana, as well as the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast. Disney's The Little Mermaid from 1989 was beloved for its now iconic songs and having a director on board who has a handle on musicals should only help this film to shine. While still in post-production, this directorial choice will also hopefully bode well for Mary Poppins Returns. Disney clearly likes what it has seen from that film enough to offer Rob Marshall the remake of one of the company's most iconic and cherished films.
There is also the matter of dealing with water. Working on Pirates of the Caribbean certainly provides some experience for what I have to imagine will be a very interesting production. Underwater adventures are all the rage these days with both next year's Aquaman and the Avatar sequels featuring underwater worlds that have to be realized on screen in a believable way. There is not currently a release date for the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid but it will be interesting to see what cues -- if any -- Disney takes from the approaches of these two films.
There is still no word on who will be playing Ariel in this film, but if the director officially signs on, hopefully the movie will start moving forward at a faster rate. Be sure to check out our guide to see all of Disney's upcoming live-action remakes. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend as we bring you all the latest in cutlery-obsessed redheads.