Is Disney Making a Live-Action The Little Mermaid Movie?

In case you had any doubt that Walt Disney Pictures will eventually remake every animated film they’ve ever done in live-action (except Song of the South), Deadline is reporting that the studio is mulling over a recent pitch for a live-action The Little Mermaid movie, which kicked off an animation renaissance for the studio in 1989.

While the article claims “initial discussions have also taken place with some major producers,” the studio has apparently yet to move forward with the idea, partly because they don’t want to be the underdog in a dueling movie race. Universal and Working Title have already been in development for several years on a Little Mermaid project, with Chloe Grace Moretz set to star and Rebecca Thomas directing from a screenplay by Richard Curtis.

Disney’s extensive slate of upcoming live-action projects culled from their animation library include Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pete’s Dragon, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book 2, Cruella, Maleficent 2Dumbo, Mulan, Winnie the Pooh, Pinocchio, Genies, Night on Bald Mountain and The Sword in the Stone. A live-action Tinkerbell movie starring Reese Witherspoon is also in parallel development to a live-action Peter Pan directed by David Lowery, and could feature crossover casting. 

The original The Little Mermaid made over $211 million at the box office and became a best-seller on home video, popularizing songs like “Under The Sea” and “Part of Your World.” Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish fairy tale, it tells the story of a sixteen-year-old mermaid princess named Ariel who longs to be human.


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