Actor-singer Harry Styles has turned down an offer to play the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” individuals with knowledge of the project exclusively told TheWrap.
One of the individuals said that Styles is a fan of the project but respectfully declined.
On Tuesday, both AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas inaccurately tweeted that Styles had been cast in the role. Both theater chains later deleted the tweets.
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) August 13, 2019
Styles would have starred opposite actress and singer Halle Bailey, who is playing Ariel. Best known as a member of the British boy band One Direction, Styles made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” and recently screen-tested for the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming untitled biopic about the legendary singer. The part went to Austin Butler.
Rob Marshall is directing “The Little Mermaid,” and it is produced by John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. David Magee (“Mary Poppins Returns”) wrote the script.
“The Little Mermaid” live-action remake will feature the 1989 animated classic’s original songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Miranda.
Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020. Additional announcements regarding “The Little Mermaid” are expected in the coming weeks.
The original “The Little Mermaid” follows Ariel, a teenaged mermaid who dreams of living on the surface world and marrying Prince Eric. Her fortunes change when a sea witch named Ursula offers to send Ariel to the human world in exchange for her beautiful voice. It won two Oscars for Disney for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Under the Sea.”
Representatives for both AMC and Regal did not respond to a request for comment.