Last month, Harry Styles was reportedly eyed for the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Now, it seems the former One Direction star has taken himself out of the running.
According to The Wrap, Styles turned down the offer to play the love interest of Halle Bailey’s Ariel despite being a “fan of the project”. The studio is currently looking at other actors for the part and will announce its Prince Eric imminently, Variety noted.
Styles made his big screen debut in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war drama Dunkirk. In July, the pop star was one of the several actors shortlisted to play The King in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, but the role ultimately went to Austin Butler.
The Little Mermaid will be directed by Rob Marshall and written by David Magee. The upcoming film will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated classic, as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken with lyrics by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In a recent interview, Bailey responded to the criticism over her Ariel casting. The singer-actress told Variety that she’s “grateful” for the opportunity and doesn’t “pay attention to the negativity” that detractors have sent her way. “I just feel like this role is something bigger than me, and greater. And it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are rumoured to join Bailey under the sea as Ariel’s friends Flounder and Scuttle. Comedian-actress Melissa McCarthy is also reportedly in talks to star as Ariel’s nemesis, Ursula.