According to The Wrap, sources close to the production are saying that Harry Styles has passed on the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ One of these insiders has stated Styles “is a fan of the project but respectfully declined.” No further explanation was given at this time.
This news comes after AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas both tweeted that he had been cast. Their tweets have since been deleted.
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) August 13, 2019
‘Mary Poppins Returns” Rob Marshall is directing this adaptation, which will star Halle Bailey as Ariel. No further casting has been confirmed, but rumor has it Melissa McCarthy is being courted to portray Ursula, with Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay set to lend their voices to Scuttle and Flounder, respectively.
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Styles was up for the role of Eric, the prince whom Ariel falls in love, and trades her voice in order to be with. Styles is mainly known as a pop singer, having been part of the boy band One Direction. He made his film debut in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’, and was reportedly among the finalists to play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrman’s upcoming biopic. (The role went to Austin Butler.)
This is not to be confused with ‘The Little Mermaid’ live TV production set to air on ABC this November. That will be an adaptation of the Broadway musical (which is based on the same Disney animated movie) and will star ‘Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula, and Shaggy as Sebastian.
Both the film and the live TV event will feature the original Academy Award-winning music from the animated film, written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, while Marshall’s film will also include new songs by Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Who should play Prince Eric now that Harry Styles is out of the running?
Marshall’s ‘Little Mermaid’ is set to begin production in April 2020.