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Could Mermaids Be The Next Big Thing?

By Kristy Puchko | Industry | February 11, 2016 |

By Kristy Puchko | Industry | February 11, 2016 |

We’ve had our vampire phase, our wizard phase, our zombie phase, and are still deep in our superhero phase. But could mermaids be the next big thing in movies?

Universal’s got a live-action Little Mermaid coming our way with Chloe Grace Moretz as its titular tail-flipper. Love Actually screenwriter Richard Curtis is on board to adapt the Hans Christian Anderson classic, and Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children) signed on to helm after Sofia Coppola bailed.

This big-budget fairytale is expected to splash down in 2017. But in the meantime, there’s an indie mermaid tale that’s hooked critics out of Sundance. Poland’s The Lure follows man-eating mermaid sisters who decide to spare a band so they can join them on tour. But when one of these sirens (They’re both. Deal.) falls for a boy in the band, she considers giving up her tail to be with him.

Director Agnieszka Smoczynska’s told Jenni Miller at Vice, “The mermaid is a metaphor for growing up as a girl…When you’re becoming mature, you can lose yourself, like our Silver, or you can build yourself.”

Sounds weird but cool, right? Well, despite winning the Special Jury Award for Unique Vision & Design, this musical horror fantasy hasn’t yet netted North American distribution. (Film School Rejects’ Tomris Laffly highlighted this and five other female-directed films that failed to pull at Sundance, despite scoring praise.) But the biggest splash so far has been made by Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid.

You might remember Chow as the mastermind behind the international hits Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle. Well, the writer/director/actor brought his manic sense of physical comedy to this mermaid tale, which is already a big fat hit in China, grossing $40.9 million in a single day, the highest amount ever earned by a Chinese title. And Variety heraled the pic for “concocting pure enchantment with the director’s own blend of nutty humor, intolerable cruelty and unabashed sweetness.” So, it’s possible The Mermaid could make its way to our shores like Chow’s successes have before.

Might this be the start of a wave of mermaid movies?

Kristy Puchko wants all of these movies now please.

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.