The thought of Sofia Coppola directing a live-action The Little Mermaid was full of possibilities, not only because the material seemed suited to her sensibilities but because it would be her first major studio effort. But that's not happening as she dropped out at the beginning of summer. And while there's still no director to replace her, someone to dive in to the lead role has been found.
According to Variety, Chloe Moretz is set to lead the film which is based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale that most people are familiar with thanks to the 1989 animated Disney movie. When Coppola departed the reason given was the standard "creative differences", but it's been suggested that she didn't want a big name star like Moretz. So Coppola left and Universal continued to pursue Moretz while hiring Richard Curtis (Love Actually) to do a final rewrite. Before Coppola it was Joe Wright (Atonement) who had been attached to direct.
So this could still be a little ways off as Universal finds a director for what should be a big hit.