As opposed to the recent wave of Walt Disney Pictures live action fairy tales, which tend to channel elements from both the original stories and their cartoon output, this one is drawing more from the Hans Christien Andersen moral quandary about the young mermaid who dreams of a life among humans but makes a terrible deal to have her wish come true. Working Title stalwart Richard Curtis (Love Actually) is on script duty and will no doubt be bringing his input to the style and tone of the film.
Thomas drew praise for her debut feature Electrick Children (2012), which led to plenty of interest from studios. She is currently preparing to direct the latest John Green adaptation, Looking For Alaska, which will likely shoot before Little Mermaid even if she does take on the aquatic project, previously considered by Joe Wright (Atonement) and Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation). The aim is to have the film ready for a 2017 release.