In 2014, Coppola signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. The project never came to fruition, however, as Coppola dropped out of the project in 2015 due to creative differences between her and the studio.
In a recent interview, Coppola explained what her “breaking point” on the project was.
“I was in a boardroom and some development guy said, ‘What’s gonna get the 35-year-old man in the audience?’ And I just didn’t know what to say,” she recalled. “I just was not in my element. I feel like I was naive, and then I felt a lot like the character in the story, trying to do something out of my element, and it was a funny parallel of the story for me.”
When asked if she’s run into that attitude often from studios, Coppola said, “It happens a lot because usually the people financing things are straight men. So it’s not the same point of view, but you’re trying to explain, like, ‘People, not everyone’s gonna be into what you’re into,’ but I just wanted to make things that appeal to me and express that.”
Coppola previously told IndieWire in 2017 that the project wouldn’t have been like Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid and, instead, would have been like “the original fairy tale, which is much darker.”
She also said that she originally wanted to shoot the movie underwater, but realized that would have been a “nightmare.”
Coppola’s latest, Priscilla, stars Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi. Based on the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley, the movie is receiving a limited release on October 27, 2023, before it expands wide on November 3, 2023.