Sofia Coppola Wanted to Shoot ‘The Little Mermaid’ Underwater: ‘It Became Too Big of a Scale’

Coppola left the project in 2015 but her new movie “The Beguiled” hits theaters on Friday

Sofia Coppola
Getty Images

Sofia Coppola stepped down from directing Universal’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” in 2015, but it turns out “The Beguiled” helmer had grand plans for the film.

“It became too big of a scale,” Coppola said during a panel with FSLC Deputy Director Eugene Hernandez, according to IndieWire. “I wanted to shoot it really underwater, which would have been a nightmare. But underwater photography is so beautiful. We even did some tests. It was not very realistic, that approach. But it was interesting to think about.”

Coppola said she saw the movie more of a business transaction than art.

“For me, when a movie has a really large budget like that, it just becomes more about business, or business becomes a bigger element than art,” she said. “When it’s smaller, there’s less people involved, it’s not so much at risk, business-wise.”

Six months after dropping out of the adaption of “The Little Mermaid,” Coppola told TheWrap that “we didn’t agree creatively about how to do it, so I didn’t want to continue.”

“As we were getting closer, it just wasn’t the right fit for what they needed for that project and the way I work. I decided to do something in a smaller scale, the way I like to work,” she said.

That’s exactly what Coppola went on to do: On Friday, her Civil War-era film “The Beguiled” will hit theaters. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell and is a remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1971 film of the same name.

Chloe Grace Moretz was cast to star in “The Little Mermaid” in November 2015, but the actress has since stepped away from the role as well. Other than that, there has been little movement on the live-action adaptation. As of right now, Rebecca Thomas is attached to direct.