The long-anticipated live-action remake of The Little Mermaid finally has its Prince Eric. Disney tapped newcomer Jonah Hauer-King, a 24-year-old British actor who previously appeared in BBC’s 2017 adaptation of The Little Women and films like The Last Photograph and A Dog’s Way Home. As Variety reports, he had a screen test for the role with director Rob Marshall just this past Saturday.
The Prince Eric role has been difficult to cast. Harry Styles was in early talks, but passed. In an interview with The Face magazine’s Trey Taylor, Styles explained that he wanted to focus on his new music (filming would also presumably conflict with his just-announced 2020 tour, which includes openers like Jenny Lewis and King Princess). The man does have a big album coming out soon. “I want to put music out and focus on that for a while,” he explained. “But everyone involved in it was amazing. So I think it’s going to be great. I’ll enjoy watching it, I’m sure.”
The rest of The Little Mermaid cast is top-notch. Ariel is set to be played by Chloe x Halle musician (and Grown-ish highlight) Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy will play Ursula, and Javier Bardem has been cast as King Triton. Room star Jacob Tremblay will serve as the voice of Flounder, Awkwafina was cast as the voice of Scuttle, and Daveed Diggs will play iconic crab Sebastian. Lindsay Lohan was unfortunately not included.
Hauer-King may not be an actual prince, but he comes somewhat close. The actor has an upper-crust background; his father, Jeremy King, is a famed London restaurateur, the owner of spots like The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Brasserie Zedel and the Beaumont Hotel. And sister Margot Hauer-King is dating another actor who plays a prince–Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles on the latest season of The Crown. The royal gig shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, even if it does involve mermaids and talking sea creatures.