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Still adamant about being part of our world, the live-action The Little Mermaid movie has found a new director to replace recent dropout Sofia Coppola: The Wrap reports Rebecca Thomas is in early talks to helm the film. Thomas hasn’t too many credits to her name, but she did write and direct 2012’s Electrick Children, which was also about a teenager who leaves her home in search of something more, which turns out to be skateboarding musicians. So it would seem her sensibilities don’t run too far from Coppola’s. Thomas recently met with newly-minted lead mermaid (there are lots of them in the story) Chloë Grace Moretz in what was probably the director-actor equivalent of a chemistry read.

The project, from Universal Pictures and Working Title, has seen a lot of turnover since its inception. Multiple directors and screenwriters have been attached, with Atonement’s Joe Wright bowing out at the beginning of the current decade for unknown reasons, and the writers of Shame and 50 Shades Of Grey working on the script before Tim Burton collaborator Caroline Thompson came on board. Of her departure, Coppola simply said her vision and the studio’s vision for the movie didn’t jibe. Universal reportedly wasn’t too keen on casting newcomer Maya Thurman Hawke, who was Coppola’s choice, in the lead role either. In order to attract a bigger name, the studio brought in Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings And A Funeral) to write the final draft of the script, which presumably means the fairy tale will feature more sheepishness and dry English wit than usual.

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