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Rob Marshall in the Running to Helm ‘The Little Mermaid’

Another live-action Disney musical is a step closer to becoming reality.
By  · Published on December 7th, 2017

Another live-action Disney musical is a step closer to becoming reality.

Deadline is reporting that Rob Marshall is ready to take the helm and direct Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

While nothing is set in stone just yet, sources say that Marshall will board the adaptation of the animated musical after the holidays. The film will be made from a script by Jane Goldman (long-time collaborator on many a Matthew Vaughn movie) and feature new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda and original Little Mermaid composer Alan Menken.

The Little Mermaid already has so much going for it and Marshall’s involvement would just be a great, if no-brainer addition to a well-oiled machine by now. Menken is obviously a Disney mainstay, and his team-up with Miranda — the genius behind Moana — will probably define more iconic songs for a generation. Marshall worked with Miranda on Mary Poppins Returns and is kind of known for specializing in musical movies, such as Chicago, Nine and Into the Woods. It would seem that Disney has just the right ingredients to maintain an iron grip on our collective moviegoing psyches.

But of course, even before The Little Mermaid starts production in earnest, Disney’s status as a true powerhouse in the industry is largely secured. That Disney-Fox deal that was thought to have fallen through has been reinvigorated via reports that an agreement between both juggernauts could be reached sooner rather than later. The deal would allow Disney to close in on “Fox’s Nat Geo, Star, regional sports networks, movie studios and stakes in Sky and Hulu, among other properties.” Fox would keep its news and business news arms, sports, and broadcast networks.

It goes without saying that the company draws in big names like no other and totally sustains itself without the Fox deal too. Disney constantly has a big year at the movies, and 2018 has one of its most exciting slates in a while. Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, The Incredibles 2 and the live-action Mulan movie are but a few projects the company has lined up without even considering its Marvel and Lucasfilm arms. The Little Mermaid will most likely come in a few years — perhaps after Aladdin starring Will Smith and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King starring freakin’ Beyonce. If there’s one thing Disney is good at, it is sustainability and longevity. Marshall’s commitment to The Little Mermaid will only solidify that standing and keep fans well-nourished for years to come.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)