There’s something fishy about the new trailer for The Little Mermaid. This version of the beloved mermaid tale isn’t particularly related to the 1989 Disney cartoon we love, and is instead based on the darker tale penned by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837.
Unlike Beauty and the Beast, this one isn’t a Disney production (but some people think one is in the works, and Universal Studios is producing their own, too). The Little Mermaid live-action remake has no Ursula, talking crab, catchy tunes, Prince Eric or—*gasp*—iconic red hair.
But the forthcoming film, made by Conglomerate Media and Kingsway Productions, still looks like it’s full of special effects, magic, adventures and plot twists.
The first trailer dives in like The Princess Bride, with a grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) telling a bedtime story to two little ones. We’re introduced to Elle (Loreto Peralta) and her brother Cam (Chronicles of Narnia‘s William Moseley) who travel to a Mississippi circus, hoping to see the real Little Mermaid. But the siblings get caught up in the mermaid (Poppy Drayton from Downton Abbey) Elizabeth’s troubles and try to protect her from the villain Locke (Armando Gutierrez) who took her soul.
It sounds like Locke is an iteration of the Sea Witch from the original Andersen fairy tale, whose character was heavily altered for the Disney cartoon—seeing as she initially cut off the mermaid’s tongue and conjured a spell that made her feel like she’s walking on knives. Not very family friendly stuff.
This version of The Little Mermaid is expected to swim to theatres this summer.