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Dark ‘Little Mermaid’ Film Forthcoming

Written by on May 24, 2011 

Pollute the ocean and make the crab hunger human flesh, and you get the idea.

I first heard of an upcoming, dark and gritty take on Peter Pan a few weeks ago, and while I like the idea for its pure insanity, my overall feeling is that it’s completely unneeded. But that seems to have just been the start; now, Variety says that Sony is getting ready to do a dark take on The Little Mermaid. The concept alone confuses me, as The Little Mermaid is as far from “dark” as you could get. But, it’s an adaptation of Carolyn Turgeon‘s novel Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale, which is just what it title suggests.

The person being tasked with taking the book to the screen is Country Strong writer and director Shana Feste, who just worked with Sony on her last film. The book is described as telling the story of a princess who tries to save her kingdom by going “on a dangerous journey to marry the prince of her rival kingdom,” but she doesn’t know that “a beautiful mermaid has fallen for the same man and sacrificed everything to be with him.” Considering that this is a “dark” version of the classic story, expect a lot of blacks in the clothing and set design, while a main character will probably be terribly disfigured, and/or will commit a brutal murder.

I don’t know who exactly is taking these stories seriously, but the market seems viable enough where these things are still moving forward. Going back to the movie mentioned above: The idea of a dark Peter Pan movie works only because there are already some unsettling undertones to the story. Little Mermaid? I don’t know if they’re that apparent. If it counts for anything, this has me wondering what new, “edgy” takes we’ll be getting on classic characters and stories. I know I’d pay top dollar to see Gaspar Noe take on Beauty and the Beast. (Vincent Cassel could fit both parts, really.)

Here’s a synopsis of the book, thanks to Amazon:

“Two women pine for the affections of a prince: mermaid Lenia, who pulls Prince Christopher from the sea, and Margrethe, the princess of the rival kingdom, who witnesses the rescue from the convent where she hides from the war raging between their two kingdoms. Lenia, who falls instantly in love with the prince, sacrifices the sea, her voice, and her health to be with him on dry land. Meanwhile, Margrethe believes that marrying the prince would unite their kingdoms, but when she arrives to arrange it, she finds him already enraptured with Lenia. While he remains unaware that the girl he loves is also the mermaid who saved him, Margrethe recognizes her rival immediately and puts into motion a plan to send the ailing mermaid back to the sea and save her own ravaged kingdom.”

What do you think of this idea? Is The Little Mermaid something that could use a different perspective?

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