Harry Styles will not be portraying Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live-action film, The Little Mermaid, Variety reports and a rep confirmed to Rolling Stone. “Although he is a fan of the project he has respectfully passed,” a rep for the singer-actor said.
Reports that Styles was cast for the role were apparently premature. Had he accepted, Styles, who made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 WWII film Dunkirk, would have starred next to confirmed actresses Halle Bailey, who will play main character Ariel, a mermaid who falls for human Prince Eric; and Melissa McCarthy, who will portray Ariel’s evil Aunt Ursula.
The upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid will be directed by Rob Marshall and written by David Magee, and will feature original songs from the 1989 original movie along with newly penned tunes by composer Alan Menken with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is co-producing the film with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca.
Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020, as The Wrap, who first reported the news of Styles turning down the role, notes.