Back in July, it was reported that Harry Styles (Dunkirk) was in talks to play Prince Eric in The Walt Disney Studios‘ upcoming live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid. Variety says that the actor and singer has now passed on the role.
They add that the initial casting reports were premature and that Harry Styles made the decision to move on amicably. Disney has already started the search for another actor to play Prince Eric. The new actor will be cast opposite Halle Bailey, who is playing Princess Ariel.
The cast also includes Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the Sea Witch, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.
The film is directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film will feature beloved songs from the animated classic by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken (music) and Miranda (lyrics).
Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020. The script was written by David Magee. Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing the project for The Walt Disney Studios.
Disney’s animated classic tells the story of Princess Ariel, a curious and free-spirited mermaid who courageously follows her dreams and embarks on life-changing adventures to find what she truly treasures. From her home under the sea, Ariel longs to explore the wonders of the world above the waves. Determined to make her dreams come true, Ariel strikes a bargain with the evil sea witch Ursula and trades her beautiful voice so she can be part of the human world.
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Little Mermaid was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (Aladdin). It features the voice talents of Jodi Benson as Ariel, Pat Carroll as Ursula, Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian, Christopher Daniel Barnes as Eric, Kenneth Mars as Triton, Buddy Hackett as Scuttle, Jason Marin as Flounder, and René Auberjonois as Chef Louis.
The movie, which grossed $211 million at the worldwide box office, featured such popular songs as “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” and “Kiss the Girl.”