‘Endless Love’ Remake Director Wants to Give Us YA-Friendly ‘Little Mermaid’ Reimagining

By February 4, 2014

The upcoming remake of Endless Love hasn’t even hit theaters yet (you’ll have to wait until Valentine’s Day for that particular pleasure), but director Shana Feste is already setting her sights on possible next project – and she’s looking right into the heart of the sea and your childhood for it.

Have you been jonesing for a whole new world of Little Mermaid stories? Want to take a walk on the beach with some new characters? Still wondering about forks? Feste may have the film for you – a revisionist take on both the Disney classic The Little Mermaid and the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

ComingSoon reports that Feste, who has been attached to both write and direct a big screen version of Carolyn Turgeon’s book “Mermaid” since 2011, is hoping to make the film her next project, sharing with the outlet, “I love working in the YA space…I love working with young actors. I think that’s really fun and hopefully I’ll be making ‘The Little Mermaid’ next.”

Turgeon’s book hews much closer to Andersen’s traditional fairy tale (and, if you’re familiar with Andersen’s works, you know how much he loved to gut check his readership as often as possible) and sounds totally tragic at just about every turn.

Shana Feste

The book’s official synopsis reads:

“When Lenia, a young mermaid princess, rescues a man from a shipwreck and carries him to shore, her selfless act is witnessed by Princess Margrethe, who is staying in a convent nearby for protection from the war her father is fighting against another kingdom. The shipwrecked young man’s name is Christopher, and in the weeks that he’s nursed back to health at the convent, he and Margrethe fall in love—but it’s not until after he leaves that Margrethe discovers he’s the prince from the kingdom her family is at war with.

Meanwhile, in the sea Lenia is suffering; she fell in love with Christopher in the moments she carried him to shore, so she makes a deal with the sea witch: in exchange for her voice and tongue she receives a potion that changes her into human form. Margrethe comes up with a plan of her own: she’ll be offered in marriage to Christopher, thus uniting the kingdoms and putting an end to the years of conflict between the two lands. But when Margrethe arrives, ready to win and wed her prince, she finds him enraptured with a beautiful woman who looks very familiar. Margrethe is sure she’s seen her before…”

Revisionist history is all the rage in the fairy tale realm these days, with Maleficent (which attempts to humanize the evil witch at the heart of the Sleeping Beauty story) hitting theaters soon and Cruella (yes, a film that seeks to understand Cruella de Vil, of totally nefarious 101 Dalmatians fame) in the works.

But Mermaid sounds most similar to another YA property that attempts to, quite literally, flip the script on what we know about both the heroines and the villains of traditional love stories: Rebecca Serle’s “When You Were Mine,” a look at the Romeo and Juliet mythos from the eyes of Romeo’s bilked lover Rosaline (remember Rosaline? While her name was mentioned throughout Shakespeare’s play, she never appears, and imagining what Romeo’s former lady thought and felt during those heady days of accidental suicide and street fighting is strangely compelling). Serle’s novel has been on the cusp of getting made into a feature film for some time now, and casting rumors have included names like Allison Williams, Dave Franco, Emilia Clarke, and Felicity Jones, though the film is still in development.

Mermaid is also still in development, but if Feste is aiming to make it her next feature, we should be hearing more about it soon enough.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.
  • Colt Howard

    I’m not one to jump on the no remakes train, but when it becomes the same guy, remaking things over and over he most likely doesn’t have the talent to be in that place. Just my opinion.

  • Wonder how much this will really differ from the Disney version…