Sofia Coppola swears off blockbusters after Little Mermaid trouble

Universal Studios version of The Little Mermaid is in development limbo.

Sofia Coppola's aborted attempt to direct a big budget version of The Little Mermaid has put her off helming blockbuster projects.

The Lost in Translation filmmaker signed up to direct Universal Studios' retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairytale, but dropped out a year later due to creative differences.

Asked in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter if her experience with The Little Mermaid had made her wary of directing studio blockbusters, she replied, "Yes".

Sofia added, "I think when the budget gets really big, the business aspect of it is really more front and centre, so that's less appealing to me. Whereas with a low-budget, I'm able to do whatever; I have more creative freedom."

The 46-year-old previously revealed that she bowed out after a dispute with Universal bosses over her vision for the film.

"We didn't agree creatively about how to do it, so I didn't want to continue," she told The Wrap. "As we were getting closer, it just wasn't the right fit for what they needed for that project and the way I work."

The director has instead moved on to other projects and her new movie The Beguiled, a remake of a 1971 Clint Eastwood drama, debuts at the Cannes Film Festival next Wednesday (24May17).

Sofia's departure from The Little Mermaid forced Universal to delay the film, and last year its lead actress Chloe Grace Moretz followed the director in exiting the project.

Since then the movie has been in development limbo, and Universal executives may face stiff competition from their rivals at Disney, who are planning a live-action remake of the studio's classic 1989 animated version of the fishy fairytale with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda at the helm.

"We're in super-early talks - I literally don't have a title for what my job on The Little Mermaid is yet," he told Vulture.com. "Right now, it's the guy who wears the 'don't mess it up' hat. If I could sign a contract with that job title on it, that would be great! But that's sort of where we are."

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