Emma Watson is being eyed up to star in 'The Little Mermaid'.

The 'Harry Potter' actress is being sought after by the director Sofia Coppola, who she has worked with in the past on 'The Bling Ring', to play the aquatic creature in the upcoming live-action movie.

A source told The Sun newspaper: ''Sofia wants Emma, and the pair have such a respect for each other, it would be very surprising if they carry on without each other.

''Movie companies Universal and Working Title want to move quickly on this so expect an announcement soon.''

Coppola had her sights on Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale as her next project after 2013's 'The Bling Ring', and will be bringing the classic children's story to life on the big screen.

However, fans shouldn't expect a repeat of Disney's bubblegum 1989 cartoon version about Ariel and talking crab Sebastian.

The director is thought to be planning a version in keeping with the original 1837 story, which sees the broken-hearted Little Mermaid commit suicide after the Prince marries another woman.

Coppola is taking over from 'Atonement' helmer Joe Wright - who was originally on board to direct but he is now currently working on 'Pan' - and intends to ''move quickly'' with the project.

The brunette beauty has young daughters Romy and Cosima with her husband, Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars, and is said to want to make a movie which her children can appreciate.