Richard Curtis (“Love, Actually”) is nearing a deal to write the script for the film, which is based on the beloved fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen.
The original story follows a mermaid who saves a man from drowning and falls in love with him.
Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce, while Liza Chasin and Amelia Granger will executive produce. Universal executives Erik Baiers and Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for the studio.
Coppola left “The Little Mermaid” earlier this year due to creative differences. Universal wanted to cast an established star like Moretz to justify the budget, while Coppola was open to making a discovery and more interested in casting a relative unknown. At the time, insiders suggested that Maya Thurman-Hawke was the favorite for the coveted role.
Moretz is becoming a favorite on the Universal lot, as she’s also filming the studio’s sequel “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.” She next stars in Sony’s “The Fifth Wave,” and has the indies “November Criminals” and “Brain on Fire” in the can.
Variety first reported the news.