Mermaid Movie News!

25 May

So I figure I ought to share this mermaidly movie news involving MY VERY OWN BOOK and many fancy Hollywood peoples.

This is from Variety:

Sony taps Shana Feste for ‘Mermaid’
‘Country’ helmer to write, direct from ‘Classic Tale’
By Jeff Sneider

“Country Strong” filmmaker Shana Feste is back in business with Sony Pictures, which has tapped her to write and direct a feature based on Carolyn Turgeon’s novel “Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale.”

Sony has acquired film rights to “Mermaid,” a dark retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” Studio has set Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures and Jenno Topping to produce. Duo recently produced Feste’s “Country Strong” for Screen Gems.

“Mermaid” follows a princess who, in order to save her ravaged kingdom, sets out on a dangerous journey to marry the prince of her rival kingdom, not knowing that a beautiful mermaid has fallen for the same man and sacrificed everything to be with him.

Nick Reimond will oversee for Material, while Andrea Gianetti will oversee for Sony.

Feste previously wrote and directed Pierce Brosnan and Carey Mulligan in the indie drama “The Greatest.” She is repped by CAA, Madhouse Entertainment and attorney Sean Marks. ICM repped the book rights.


So I knew my book had been optioned by Sony a month or two ago, but the rest of these details I had only heard from a Hollywood-y friend of mine on Facebook, so it was a bit in the rumor-ish category, and then two days ago I got about 5000000 google alerts as this news came out first on Variety and then in tons of other places, many of which also commented on this other Little Mermaid film in development by Joe Wright, who directed Atonement and Hanna. Like this article from Perez Hilton:

Disney fairytales are hot these days! The Little Mermaid will join Snow White as Hollywood’s next property for studios to competively adapt to SEVERAL different live-action versions.

So what’s next?

Sleeping Beauty? Aladdin? The Big Green? Ha!

Shana Feste, the writer and director of Country Strong, is working with Sony Pictures on an adaptation of Carolyn Turgeon‘s Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale.

She’s not a alone! Joe Wright, the director of Atonement and Hanna, is ALSO developing a live-action feature based on Hans Christian Andersen‘s version of the fairytale.

The official synopsis for Shana Feste’s mermaid flick reads as follows:

“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…”

Mermaid vs. mermaid? That could be inneresting!

We can’t wait to hear more details about Joe Wright’s version so we can make an informed decision about which one we’re more excited to see!

Do U think two Little Mermaid adaptations are better than one or should Hollywood try to be a little more original?


Anyway, let me just say that there are a few weird coincidences here, as there have been with everything involving yours truly and mermaids. First, it so happens that I totally loved “Country Strong” and so did my mama, who saw it like five times in the theater and seemed to take all the negative reviews of the movie personally. We’d also commented on how much presence Gwyneth Paltrow’s manager in the movie had. And THEN in January when I went to the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas, there she was in the flesh. I hadn’t known that the manager woman was Marshall Chapman, who’s done all kinds of cool music stuff and has written a book as well. So I selflessly bought a copy and had her sign it for my mama, as I am a very awesome daughter.

Here is a picture of Marshall with her upside-down tiara and me looking rather wine-stained and unkempt. I was in Texas and dressed as a mermaid, what can I say.

So THEN, maybe in March or April, Sony options my book, and I hear from aforementioned friend that she’d heard that the movie was going to be written and directed by Ms. Feste, which I thought was very odd and cool… and then maybe a week or two ago said friend told me how she’d bumped into Ms. Feste at a movie and it turns out that her boyfriend is someone I went to high school with in central Pennsylvania way back when (and who is now an actor). Not to mention someone I served coffee to possibly over a thousand times, since I worked at our town diner, along with everyone else I knew.  Admit that is weird. I emailed said boyfriend on Facebook and said that the next time he is dating someone who is adapting a book of mine into a movie she is also going to be directing he should LET ME KNOW, and he said that he’d only just put it together. This past Sunday, as it happens, I had a reading in Lemont, Pennsylvania, at a sweet cafe owned by one of said boyfriend’s best friends.

Which all goes to show you one thing:

Fate totally wants me to be a Hollywood mogul.

The end.

15 Responses to “Mermaid Movie News!”

  1. Eugene May 25, 2011 at 3:07 PM #

    I’ve found your awesome page when I’ve read this tumblr page
    Thank you for this magic mermaid corner *HUGS*

  2. Courtney May 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM #

    This is so exciting! I would love to see a movie version of your book…but I’m also curious about this other one. I’ll probably see both!

    Who would you like to see cast as Lenia and Margarethe? Keep us posted!

  3. Alia Yunis May 27, 2011 at 1:03 AM #

    Incredible, fantastic news!!! Way to make a Splash 🙂

  4. moraina bullock November 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM #

    first of someone young should do it
    lenia – amanda seyfried
    margarethe – emma watson
    or other way aroung
    no angelina or cameron
    boo if these two are young hmmph to that

  5. Ana December 17, 2011 at 1:27 AM #

    First, congratulations! I myself believe in signs and fate. So many things are lining up and it’s hard to just believe that it’s all a coincidence.

    Have there been any updates on this? I’d never forgive myself for passing up the opportunity to audition for a film adaptation of your beautiful novel.

    Good luck, and I wish you the most success!

  6. moraina bullock December 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM #

    I just heard dried up gwyneth paltrow is princess lenia
    she is 39 years old.
    Oh my gosh yay
    here goes another movie
    I want watch thanks tobey macguire
    and shana feste you just ruined ariel fans every where,
    We all were hoping for pretty young actress
    someone like emma stone
    sheesh not old ass hag.s you know.
    I dont care who read this Im going to hate this film.
    May I remind you the mermaid is 16
    not 39 year old wannabe young actress to play the role
    that dried up whore married to cold play.

    • * December 24, 2011 at 12:03 PM #

      I haven’t heard that news at all and I’ve read every legit article about it. So, what you heard may be just a rumor. I’m curious to know why you brought up Ariel, as she is not part of this film or story. Also, if I remember correctly – the mermaid is eighteen in this story, not sixteen.


  7. imamermaid December 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM #

    There is no news like that, I think that commentator is confusing Shana Feste’s last movie, Country Strong (which she wrote and directed, and which starred Gwyneth Paltrow) with Mermaid, which Shana Feste is also supposed to write and direct!

  8. Rose Emanuel February 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM #

    Wow! My dream role is to play The Little Mermaid in a motion picture.. Everyone calls me Ariel because I resemble her to the extreme! But with reddish brown hair and green eyes. If there is going to be an open casting call PLEASE let me know. My resume is on IMDB under Rose Emanuel. You can also check out my official music video that has just been released on YouTube which is called “Nothing In Your Pocket”.

    I’m a strong believer in fate and things happening for a reason. I’ve been wishing for the role since I can remember. Even if I could just send in a audition tape, anything! I would greatly appreciate it. I could DEFINITELY make you proud. I just turned 19 but look as young as 16.

    Hope to hear back from you soon,

    Rose Emanuel

    • A February 12, 2012 at 3:12 AM #

      I too, am waiting for the casting to begin, as I am dying to audition for the role of Margrethe.

      Rose, I hate to be the bringer of bad news but Ariel isn’t in this book (and won’t be in the film adaptation). This is a twist on the Hans Christian Andersen tale, not the Disney version, and while there are a few similarities between the two, they’re also very different. Hollywood is coming out with another live-action Little Mermaid film by Joe Wright but he said it’s going to be faithful to the Hans Christian Andersen story too.

      Maybe Disney will make a live-action film of their version in a few years. So, keep hoping! 🙂

    • Rose Emanuel February 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM #

      I understand that completely 🙂 but I love the concept of this book adaption also. I’d love a shot to audition for Princess Lenia. Yes, my ultimate character role would be Ariel but this also sounds like something I’d love to pull off. Do you know when casting will be known? I’ll have my agent on the lookout also. 🙂

  9. Kirsten April 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM #

    Wow how cool!! Please tell us when auditions are!!! 🙂

  10. Jessica December 15, 2013 at 9:12 AM #

    I would love to audition 🙂 Sounds amazing 🙂

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