Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Kelly Marcel, who got the job of adapting 50 Shades Of Grey off of the character work in her script Saving Mr. Banks, also is showing versatility. She is going from adapting that EL James best-seller’s steamy S&M love story to a whole different kettle of fish. Marcel is making a deal to rewrite The Little Mermaid for director Joe Wright and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Several scribes have worked on the adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fable, including Abi Morgan (Shame). There is some irony in Marcel being tapped for this gig. Recently it was widely reported that Wright had all but nailed down the job of directing 50 Shades Of Grey, but the studio denied it; for one thing, Wright has scheduling issues that will make it impossible. Now, the director gets to work with Fifty Shades scribe Marcel, only on a much less racy project.The Marcel-scripted Saving Mr. Banks will be an awards-season entry from Disney, with a December 20 opening date for the John Lee Hancock-directed film that stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers. It’s the story of Walt’s courtship of the Mary Poppins author, who was reluctant because a romanticized version of her alcoholic father was a major characters in the novel. Marcel is repped by WME and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.

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