LOS ANGELES – British singer Harry Styles has reportedly turned down the role of Prince Eric in the remake of “The Little Mermaid” after several weeks of talks with Disney, entertainment media trade publication citing sources close to the production reported Tuesday.
According to Variety, Styles made the decision to pull out of the project “amicably,” weeks after “premature” reports of his casting were circulated.
If he had been signed, the member of the former boy band One Direction would have played the role of Eric – the human Danish prince who catches the attention of mermaid princess Ariel – in Disney’s new live-action reboot of the animated classic.
This would not have been Styles’ first time in front of the camera. He previously acted in “Dunkirk” (2017), a World War II film directed by Christopher Nolan that received a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
Reports that Styles was in the running to play Prince Eric came at a time when another magazine, Deadline, said last month that the Spanish actor Javier Bardem was in talks to join the cast to play King Triton, Ariel’s father, in the musical film.
The information was later corroborated by other Hollywood media outlets, but Disney has yet to make Bardem’s inclusion official.
So far, actress Melissa McCarthy has been confirmed to play the role of Ariel’s evil aunt Ursula, while Jacob Tremblay will be lending his voice to Ariel’s fish companion, Flounder, and Awkwafina will voice the seagull Scuttle.
Singer Halle Bailey, who along with her sister Chloe makes up the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, will play the main character of Ariel.
“The Little Mermaid” will be the latest classic Disney movie to be remade into a live-action movie, which combines digital technology with flesh-and-blood actors.
This year has already seen the release of “Dumbo,” directed by Tim Burton, “Aladdin” with Guy Ritchie at the helm, and “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, which is still running in theaters worldwide.