Sofia Coppola Exited ‘Little Mermaid’ After Studio Exec Asked How It’d Appeal to 35-Year-Old Men, Passed on Final ‘Twilight’ Movie: ‘Too Weird!’

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Sofia Coppola recently spoke to Rolling Stone on her press tour for “Priscilla” and touched upon two high-profile projects that fell by the wayside. The first was the final “Twilight” movie, “Breaking Dawn,” which Summit Entertainment split into two films that were released in 2011 and 2012 and grossed a combined $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. Coppola revealed her journey with the final “Twilight” movie lasted only a single meeting.

“We had one meeting, and it never went anywhere,” the director said. “I thought the whole imprinting-werewolf thing was weird. The baby. Too weird! But part of the earlier ‘Twilight’ could be done in an interesting way. I thought it’d be fun to do a teen-vampire romance, but the last one gets really far out.”

Bill Condon ended up serving as the director of both final “Twilight” films. The baby Coppola is referring to is Renesmee, Bella Swan and Edward Cullen’s vampire/human hybrid child. She has the abilities to show people her thoughts by touching them.

“I think it’d be fun to do sci-fi and I think it’d be fun to do, not like gory, but I like gothic horror,” Coppola added. “I don’t have an idea, though.”

Another project Coppola discussed with Rolling Stone was her live-action “The Little Mermaid,” which she developed with Universal Pictures and Working Title around 2014. Coppola was planning to side-step the famous Disney animated film and return the story to its darker roots in the original Hans Christian Anderson fairytale. She left the project after clashing with the studios over the budget required to bring the underwater world to life, but she told Rolling Stone that she knew hit a breaking point with the film after a studio exec mentioned the film should appeal to older men.

“Yes, there was [a breaking point]. I was in a boardroom and some development guy said, ‘What’s gonna get the 35-year-old man in the audience?’ And I just didn’t know what to say,” Coppola said. “I just was not in my element. I feel like I was naive, and then I felt a lot like the character in the story, trying to do something out of my element, and it was a funny parallel of the story for me.”

Coppola told IndieWire back in 2017 that her “Little Mermaid” was not the Disney version, adding, “It was actually the original fairy tale, which is much darker. I thought it would be fun to do a fairy tale. I’ve always loved fairy tales, so I was curious about doing that… It became too big of a scale. I wanted to shoot it really underwater, which would have been a nightmare. But underwater photography is so beautiful. We even did some tests. It was not very realistic, that approach. But it was interesting to think about.”

The director’s latest, “Priscilla,” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 3 from A24.

Sofia Coppola Exited ‘Little Mermaid’ After Studio Exec Asked How It’d Appeal to 35-Year-Old Men, Passed on Final ‘Twilight’ Movie: ‘Too Weird!’

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