Disney has found its Prince Eric for its live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” British actor Jonah Hauer-King has been cast to star as the character in Rob Marshall’s film, an individual with knowledge of the project told The Wrap.
Hauer-King screen-tested and beat out other contenders over the weekend. He will star opposite actress and singer Halle Bailey, who is playing Ariel.
Marshall is directing, and the film 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.
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.”
Jonah most recently starred as the young lead in Sony’s film “A Dog’s Way Home.” He currently can be seen in the new BBC Series “World on Fire” with Lesley Manville and Helen Hunt. In 2018, Jonah shot opposite Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale in James DeMonaco’s “Once Upon a Time in Staten Island,” and Clive Owen and Tim Roth in Francois Girard’s “The Song of Names.” Other credits include BBC’s “Little Women,” with Maya Hawke, “Ashes in the Snow” with Danny Huston, and in “Old Boys” with Alex Lawther. He was also in the West End’s run of “The Entertainer” starring opposite Kenneth Branagh. He studied at Cambridge University, which has produced the likes of Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston.
Hauer-King is repped by CAA, United Agents, and Public Eye Communications.