'The Little Mermaid': Harry Styles in Talks to Play Prince Eric

Harry Styles is reportedly in talks to play Prince Eric in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Disney has been hard at work casting its newest classic adaptation, with Halle Bailey on board to play Ariel. Now, Styles may join her.

News of Styles' casting negotiations come from Collider, where it was reported on Tuesday. Styles, previously of the boy band One Direction, made his film debut in Dunkirk back in 2017, and now he is perfectly poised to jump into a beloved children's franchise.

Styles may be moving forward with negotiations over this role after missing out on another one, according to Variety reporter Justin Kroll, sources say Styles was hoping to be cast as Elvis Presley in the upcoming biopic by Baz Luhrmann. Having now officially lost that role to Austin Butler, Styles turned his attention back to Disney.

The Little Mermaid has been on the list of rumored Disney remakes for years, but it is just beginning to come into focus as casting news and rumors surface. Earlier this month, Bailey was officially announced as the lead, taking social media by storm. Bailey, 19, is an R&B singer known for performing as a duo act with her sister under the name Chloe x Halle. Between her and Styles, vocal chops should be no problem for this musical.

Meanwhile, Melissa McCarthy is also in talks to join the film as Ursula, the sea-witch antagonist of the film. As popular as McCarthy is, some fans are displeased by the prospect of her taking on the role, feeling it should go to an African-American actress or even a transgender person. The original design for Ursula was famously modeled after drag queen Divine, so some fans saw this as the company's perfect opportunity to casts a transgender performer and get them some work.

Of course, others were displeased by the news that Bailey was cast as Ariel, feeling that a Caucasian actress should have taken that role. Bailey has previously performed with Beyoncé, who stars in Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation of The Lion King.

Other cast members in negotiations include Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, who are in talks to play Ariel's friends Flounder and Scuttle, respectively. There is still no word on who may play King Triton, Sebastian the crab or any other major roles in the movie.


The Little Mermaid adaptation was written by David Magee, with a previous draft by Jane Goldman. The music comes from original composer Alan Menken with fresh input from Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda will also produce the film, along with Marc Platt, John DeLuca and director Rob Marshall.

There is no projected release date for The Little Mermaid just yet.