Marc Jacobs - Front Row - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015Turns out Sofia Coppola didn't want to be part of Ariel's world after all: The director has dropped out of the long-gestating live-action version of "The Little Mermaid."

According to Deadline, Coppola and studio Universal just had too many creative differences over the film, based on the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, and the director decided to exit the project. But Universal is pressing on, and writer Caroline Thompson will take another pass at the screenplay, which has already received several rewrites from Kelly Marcel ("Fifty Shades of Grey") and Abi Morgan ("Shame").

Coppola isn't the only high-profile director to pass on the production: Joe Wright was also at one time interested in helming the flick, but a deal never materialized. And sadly, this means that a reunion between the "Bling Ring" director and her star, Emma Watson, won't happen either.

Based on the talent that the flick is trying to attract, this sounds like it will be a decidedly darker take on the story, compared to the animated musical version that Disney put out in 1989. And it's certainly setting itself up to be different from Disney's current crop of live-action remakes of its animated classics (one of which, coincidentally enough, stars Watson). It remains to be seen, however, if this version can get off the ground (or out from under the sea, if you will) once and for all.

Stay tuned.

[via: Deadline]

Photo credit: Getty Images for Marc Jacobs