Coppola and Cavill walk in a week of exits

Sofia CoppolaFirst Henry Cavill, now Sofia Coppola - two big names have exited their respective films, throwing the projects into a state of flux.

Deadline first reported yesterday that Sofia Coppola is no longer attached to direct The Little Mermaid for Working Title and Universal, citing "creative differences". The project has been on Working Title's slate for some time - we first listed it on Production Intelligence in May 2011 - with Coppola being officially confirmed over a year ago.

The live action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale had already seen many changes: it started out with draft screenplays by Kelly Marcel and Abi Morgan before landing on Caroline Thompson's final rewrite, and Joe Wright had previously been lined up to direct.  

Shooting had been pencilled in for the end of the year, which may still be do-able if a replacement is found swiftly.

In an eleventh-hour departure at the end of last week, Henry Cavill pulled out of the title role of Stratton, the Special Forces thriller that was due to start shooting Tuesday 2 June. The high-octane adaptation of Duncan Falconer's novel was attracting plenty of buzz, with Cavill and his brother Charlie also among the producing team under the umbrella of their company Promethean Productions.

It is thought that the project will remain under the auspices of Amber Entertainment, who developed it, and that Simon West will remain at the helm to direct.

Cavill's hasty exit is also bound to cause a headache for the financiers and distributors, to say nothing of the crew who had the UK/Italy shoot inked in for the next few months.

We will be checking in with the production team on both projects over the next few weeks to see how the changes are affecting the schedule and personnel, and we will of course provide updates on Production Intellience as specifics are confirmed.

Photo courtesy of Ben Gabbe/Getty Images.

Production Intelligence

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