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Pirates’ Rob Marshall could direct Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid

Contributed by
Dec 6, 2017

Following the success of live-action reboots of classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, Disney is embarking on another bankable revival — a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

According to a new report over at Deadline, Disney has offered Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall the directorial reins for the new project, whose production timeline still hasn’t been disclosed.

Marshall is fresh off directing a reboot of an even older Disney classic, Mary Poppins Returns. That film, which brings back Dick Van Dyke to act alongside Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and Emily Blunt, is scheduled to release in December of next year.

The fresh take on The Little Mermaid, which first hit theaters in 1989, would also see the return of original composer Alan Menken. If you’ve ever gotten one of the film's eminently hummable songs stuck in your head — tunes like “Part of Your World” or “Under the Sea” — it's Menken you have to thank. Deadline reports that he’s already been working alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda to score The Little Mermaid’s live-action version.

Marshall was nominated for an Academy Award for directing the 2002 musical Chicago. He’s already directed three Disney movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Into the Woods.

For its part, Disney is already drawing tons of star power to the casts of its burgeoning live-action revival business. The studio is currently putting the finishing touches on Will Smith’s genie in a reboot of Aladdin, and it’s prepping to begin shooting a live-action adaptation of The Lion King — a Jon Favreau-directed project that’ll feature Beyonce as Nala.