For a brief moment yesterday, thanks to tweets from movie theater chains and an article from a Disney fansite, the public thought that Harry Styles would be officially taking on the role of Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. But alas, our dreams were all for naught–Styles has turned down the role. It’s a weird saga.
Sources told industry publication The Wrap that while Styles is “a fan of the project,” he “respectfully declined.”
News of Styles’s association with the film came out in a very strange manner. Movie theater chains AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas both tweeted that the musician-slash-actor had accepted the role. The tweets were inaccurate, and were later deleted.
The upcoming Little Mermaid flick, directed by Rob Marshall with a production credit from Lin-Manuel Miranda, will be using the classic songs from the 1989 animated version, written by legendary composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. And as it currently stands, we’re not sure who will be playing Prince Eric (though 30 Rock once suggested that the character was based on a teenage Jon Hamm at swim practice). Ariel will be played by Halle Bailey, who makes music with sister Chloe in the Beyoncé-endorsed band Chloe x Halle. The two also star on Freeform’s Grown-ish alongside Yara Shahidi and king influencer Luka Sabbat.
Awkwafina will be playing Scuttle the Seagull, while Room’s Jacob Tremblay is taking on Flounder. Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula, though the casting has yet to be confirmed (and they really should pick a drag queen). Sebastian the Crab has not been cast yet.
Styles fans are sad at the news that they won’t get to watch him pine for a voiceless Ariel, searching for his love across a turbulent sea. There are already photos of him soaked through in a billowing white blouse (Gucci?). He would have been perfect!
The stans are in mourning.