Say it ain’t so! Harry Styles will not appear as Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid despite initial casting speculation, Us Weekly confirms.
“While he is a fan of the project, he has respectfully declined the offer,” a source close to the project told Us. It’s not immediately clear the exact reason behind the “Sign of the Times” singer’s decision to turn down the project.
Styles, whose acting credits include Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-nominated film Dunkirk, would have starred opposite Halle Bailey — half of the musical sister duo Chloe X Halle — in the reimagined story. The Grown-ish actress was officially cast last month as Ariel in the Rob Marshall-directed feature, which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.
Shortly after Bailey’s casting, speculation swirled that the former One Director singer was in early talks for Prince Eric.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report in July that Jacob Tremblay was being eyed to voice Ariel’s best friend, a fish named Flounder, and Awkwafina is in talks to voice Scuttle, a seagull.
After Melissa McCarthy was talked about as the choice to play Ursula in the film, Queen Latifah announced on August 6 that she’d nabbed the villainous role for ABC’s live special, which will screen in November and star Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel. “‘Fortunately I know a little magic.’ Excited to be a part of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! #Ursula #TheLittleMermaid#TeamSeaWitch,” she wrote on Instagram.
Around the time his rumored involvement in The Little Mermaid reboot surfaced, Styles was going up against the likes of Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort to portray Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic. However, it was announced on July 15 that Austin Butler, who recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, would take on the role of the late music legend.
Styles has enough on his plate at the moment, as he gears up to release new music soon. Earlier this month, the English talent — who dropped his self-titled debut album in 2017 — was spotted filming a music video in Mexico.