Harry Styles was reportedly offered the role of Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid, but ultimately passed on the project.
We learned in July that Styles was in talks to play the prince, but that the English singer wasn’t sure if he would be available, or suitable, for the role. Now, according to both The Wrap and Variety, Styles has officially passed on the project. The role of Prince Eric was reportedly his to take if he so wanted, but Styles ultimately declined.
Although Prince Eric does not sing in the original 1989 animated film, this new version of the story will contain new songs from composer Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, so it’s likely that Disney will be seeking an actor with a strong voice for the role. As a singer and former member of One Direction, Styles would have fit the bill.
Prince Eric is not the only major part yet to be officially cast, although Javier Bardem is reportedly in talks to play Ariel’s father, King Triton. Some other major parts have already been cast: Halle Bailey is set to play Ariel, while Melissa McCarthy has been cast as her wicked aunt Ursula. Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) will direct.