Disney, Live Action, The Latest Animation News

Rob Marshall Eyed to Direct ‘The Little Mermaid’

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Life is the bubbles for Rob Marshall.

His claim to fame Chicago won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2002, and since then, he’s developed a solid (but maybe unspectacular) relationship with Disney over the last decade or so. He directed one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in 2011 and then the somewhat divisive feature film adaptation of Into the Woods in 2014. Most recently, Marshall directed Mary Poppins Returns for Disney, set to be released next Christmas. It seems like Disney is happy with how that film is coming along because the studio have just offered Marshall the coveted director’s chair for the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

It’s important to note that Marshall has not accepted the offer just yet, but I have a hard time imagining him turning down something like The Little Mermaid. The film will be a musical — duh! — and, according to Deadline, will feature new music from Alan Menken and Lin Manuel Miranda in addition to the music from the animated film. Miranda is producing the film with Marc Platt, who also produced La La Land and Marshall’s Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. Marshall will reportedly make his decision sometime after the holidays, but again, I can’t see him saying “no” to this.

Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast is still the highest-grossing film of the year, so I can see why the studio would want to try to recapture that success with The Little Mermaid. There are some unique technical challenges to be overcome with a live-action Little Mermaid, considering the majority of the story is set under water, and I’m definitely interested in seeing what that would look like.

There’s no word on casting for this new iteration of The Little Mermaid, although Chloe Grace-Moretz was previously attached to star in a competing Little Mermaid project at a different studio. The film doesn’t have a release date yet, but assuming that the project continues to move forward at a steady pace, I’d expect it to land somewhere in 2021 or 2022. Until then, Disney has quite a few other live-action remakes on deck, including Mulan, Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Christopher Robin.

Are you ready for a live-action version of The Little Mermaid to be part of your world, or are you tired of hearing about live-action remakes? Do you think Rob Marshall is a good choice to direct? Use your voice and let us know by leaving a comment below!

Edited by: MJ Edwards

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About Angelo Thomas

Angelo Thomas is a writer, director, and pop culture enthusiast. In addition to writing for Rotoscopers, he writes for The Royal Blog of Oz and guest hosts The Royal Podcast of Oz. Angelo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He is currently studying Film & Video in Columbus, Ohio at the Columbus College of Art & Design, where he has also worked as an assistant in Marketing & Communications. His favorite film of all time is The Wizard of Oz, which has influenced much of his personal and professional work. In terms of his love for animation, Tangled and Frozen aren't just great animated films in his opinion — they're some of the best films ever made. Angelo is always prepared to give and defend his opinions when it comes to film and animation, which he often does on social media. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr @imangelothomas.
  • Manuel Orozco

    I’m not looking forward to Little Mermaid but I am for Mulan and Aladdin. So I decide when I’m personally through with the remakes.

  • I could be more excited after seeing Mary Poppins Returns perhaps, but now I am generally liking what their aiming for. It’s just hard to get excited for directing talent ideas these days…..

    • Manuel Orozco

      I’m excited for Mary Poppins Returns too. I’ve also seen Rob Marshall’s directing work in Pirates 4, Annie (1999) and Chicago.