Chloe Moretz is set to play the title character in Working Title and Universal’s “The Little Mermaid” retelling with Richard Curtis in talks to pen the script.
Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce. Liza Chasin and Amelia Granger will executive produce.
Not much is known about how this version will compare to previous versions of the Hans Christian Andersen story, which follows a mermaid who wished to become human after falling in love with a man she saved from drowning.
Exec VP of Production Erik Baiers and creative executive Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for Universal.
Earlier this year, director Sofia Coppola left the project after creative differences with the studios. Since the project is not yet dated, execs felt it was smarter to take one more pass at the script with a top-level writer in order to attract the type of talent they want for the project.
Moretz had been the frontrunner for the role even while Coppola was still attached; some insiders point to Coppola’s unwillingness to go with a star like Moretz as her impetus for parting ways with the project. Following Coppola’s exit, the studio still wanted Moretz for the role but did not want to make it official until a writer was attached to pen the final pass at the script.
Moretz is currently filming “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” for Universal after having just finished “Brain on Fire.” She can be seen next in Sony’s “The Fifth Wave” and also has “November Criminals” set to bow next year. She is repped by WME, T-squared Entertainment and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern.
Curtis’ credits include “Love Actually” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” which have both been popular with auds and critics. He most recently wrote and directed “Trash” starring Rooney Mara. He is repped by United Agents and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.