Director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Soloist) will collaborate for a fourth time with Working Title on a live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic The Little Mermaid.

You'd have to be living under the sea not to be familiar with the tale of a young mermaid who wants to abandon her life under the sea in favour of a human soul and the love of a prince. Of course Walt Disney Animation Studios most memorably adapted it in 1989 with directors Ron Clements and John Musker. In the grand tradition of Disney feature animation, it was turned into a singing, dancing musical, and went on to become a perennial classic.

Joe Wright's adaptation has been penned by Abi Morgan (Brick Lane, The Iron Lady) and was inspired by a production of the story put on by The Little Angel Theatre Company as part of a repertoire of children's stories told using puppets.

The original fairy tale was published by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837 and while the Disney film might be the most fondly remembered adaptation with modern audiences it has also been turned into a poem, a comic book and a theatre production. It has never been directly adapted into a English-language live-action feature, though it was turned into a 1976 Czech film.

Still, the Disney film casts a long shadow over the project, though since it brings with it a recognizable brand this could be as much of a help as a hindrance. What Joe Wright will bring to the tale remains to be seen, but judging by his previous work it'd be a surprise if it was quite as light and airy in tone as the Disney film.