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'Country Strong' Director Shana Feste Swims To A New Trend, Will Direct 'Mermaid'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 23, 2011 at 9:28AM

Here's how Hollywood works. If an idea is really good and works one time, it means it will be repeated endlessly in a never-ending hope to match that first glory. So, when Jeff Bridges and "Crazy Heart" stormed the award season in 2009, it was no surprise that a transparent attempt was made to do that again and thus "Country Strong" with Gwyneth Paltrow and "My Own Love Song" with Renée Zellweger were foisted upon a movie-going audience that had been there and done that. Shana Feste directed the former and while at point (far in the distance) it was viewed as potential awards bait, as the season actually got underway, it never got much more than cursory nods for the music which even now is pretty forgettable. But try, try again and Feste has now seen that fairy tales are all the rage so she'll try her hand at that.
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Here's how Hollywood works. If an idea is really good and works one time, it means it will be repeated endlessly in a never-ending hope to match that first glory. So, when Jeff Bridges and "Crazy Heart" stormed the award season in 2009, it was no surprise that a transparent attempt was made to do that again and thus "Country Strong" with Gwyneth Paltrow and "My Own Love Song" with Renée Zellweger were foisted upon a movie-going audience that had been there and done that. Shana Feste directed the former and while at point (far in the distance) it was viewed as potential awards bait, as the season actually got underway, it never got much more than cursory nods for the music which even now is pretty forgettable. But try, try again and Feste has now seen that fairy tales are all the rage so she'll try her hand at that.

Variety reports that the director will tackle the very obviously titled "Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale" (shouldn't that be "tail"?) for Sony. Anyway, it's based on the book by Carolyn Turgeon and will follow "a princess who, in order to save her ravaged kingdom, sets out on a dangerous journey to marry the prince of her rival kingdom, not knowing that a beautiful mermaid has fallen for the same man and sacrificed everything to be with him." CATFIGHT! But seriously, perhaps the water/land love affair will be some kind of metaphor for race relations or something right? Nah, it'll probably some overwrought fairy tale romance about sacrificing a tail for a man or some nonsense.

Anyway, Feste will adapt the book and direct the film which seems to be in early stages of development. But considering North American audiences didn't exactly storm the ship of "On Stranger Tides" this weekend, which failed to meet Disney's projected $100 million domestic, perhaps it's not the best time to get a seafaring romance underway? But hey, what do we know? We're not Hollywood executives and from what we heard, fairy tales are like, totally in now.

This article is related to: Shana Feste


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