'The Little Mermaid': Harry Styles Reportedly Turns Down Prince Eric Role

It was reported by multiple outlets on Tuesday that Harry Styles had been cast as Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, but The Wrap is reporting that the singer actually turned down the role.

A source said that Styles was a fan of the project, but respectfully declined the role. Reports of his casting were premature and the studio has already begun looking at other actors for the part of the prince who captures the heart of the mermaid Ariel.

Styles previously flexed his acting muscle in Christopher Nolan's 2017 film Dunkirk, where he played a soldier named Alex. He also recently screen-tested for the role of Elvis Presley for director Baz Luhrmann's upcoming biopic about the late singer, but the role went to Austin Butler.

The remake of The Little Mermaid has already cast singer Halle Bailey in its lead role, and Variety adds that Melissa McCarthy will play the evil sea witch Ursula. The movie will be directed by Rob Marshall, written by David Magee and produced by John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The film will feature songs from the 1989 Disney animated film written by composer Alan Menken and the late lyricist Howard Ashman as well as new numbers from Menken with lyrics by Miranda. The original movie won two Oscars for its music, taking home Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Under the Sea." The Little Mermaid follows a mermaid named Ariel who dreams of being human and signs a contract with the sea witch Ursula to trade her tail for legs so she can live above water and attempt to win the heart of Prince Eric, who she had fallen in love with after spotting him sailing.

Production is expected to begin in early 2020 and more announcements regarding the film are expected over the coming weeks. McCarthy previously teased her involvement during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in July, sharing a winking hint when asked about the remake.

"What's that?" she playfully told the host. "I hadn't heard about that. It seems like it will be an awfully fun thing to do. Oh, I'd love if Disney gave me a little ringy dingy. We'll see."

"If it did happened," she added after an exaggerated wink, "It would be very wonderful, Disney."


The Little Mermaid will be the latest in a growing list of live-action adaptations for Disney, with the studio having rolled out new versions of classics including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin over the past several years. A live-action remake of Mulan is scheduled for release in March 2020.

Photo Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz