Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken set for Walt Disney Pitcures' new Little Mermaid

As Walt Disney Pictures continue to adapt their animated fairy tale fare into live action, development has recently started on The Little Mermaid (1989). Aware that competing studios are already working on the story, the Mouse House has gone for some major players in the music department, with news arriving via Deadline that they have paired original composer and Academy Award® winner Alan Menken with Hamilton musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda.

It is clearly at the early planning stage, and indeed the company are still figuring out how much the ever busy Miranda will be contributing. But according to Deadline, he is on board to supervise the story and will work with Menken – who co-wrote the garlanded original songs for the animated classic with Howard Ashman – to craft new music that can sit alongside some of the classic tunes. No director is set as yet, and Disney's production president Sean Bailey is in the process of finding a writer to flesh out the new pitch for the story.

This certainly feels like the perfect fit for Miranda, who is such a fan of the original that he named his son Sebastian after the chatty crab. And he has proven time and again that he has the flair for writing memorable music that has itself won several awards. We can't wait to see the behind the scenes video from this collaboration. The new assignment continues the actor and composer's connection to Disney, as he is also part of the cast for Mary Poppins Returns, which will kick off shooting in London early next year, directed by Rob Marshall (Into The Woods).

Assuming it will come to full fruition, this new version of The Little Mermaid will face a challenge from other adaptions, including Working Title and Universal Pictures' take on the public domain Hans Christian Andersen tale. That one is further along in the process, with Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children) attached to direct Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) in the lead, working from a Richard Curtis (Love Actually) script.

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