It looks like Harry Styles isn’t interested in going under the sea for Disney’s new live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced claiming that the 25-year-old singer had signed on to join R&B singer Halle Bailey, 19, who was cast as Ariel back in July. In fact, both AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas even tweeted that Styles was good to go for the role of Prince Eric in the highly-anticipated film. Welp, turns out they were wrong. According to The Wrap, Styles basically said thanks but no thanks and “respectfully declined” the role. Ho-hum.
In addition to Bailey, Styles would have joined an already star-studded cast, which includes Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), who will play Flounder and Scuttle, respectively. Javier Bardem (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) is also in talks to star as Ariel’s father, King Triton, while Melissa McCarthy is rumored to play Ursula.
Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) is directing the film, which will feature original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken (with some assistance from Lin-Manuel Miranda, NBD). David Magee (Mary Poppins Returns) penned the script for the remake. Production is set to begin in early 2020.
Still, two questions remain: Why doesn’t Harry Styles want to become a Disney prince and who will play Eric instead? The plot thickens.
Additional reporting by Lex Goodman.