13 Reasons Why star Christian Navarro has auditioned to play Prince Eric in Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid remake. The upcoming re-imagining of the studio's much beloved 1989 Oscar-winning film (itself based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale) is yet another effort by Disney to find renewed life in their lengthy catalogue of animated classics by revisiting them in live-action.
Although recent efforts like Aladdin and The Lion King haven’t exactly wowed critics, their billion dollar box office receipts prove that audiences want live-action remakes. In fact, the only recently released Disney live-action film to not fare well with both critics and audiences has been Tim Burton’s take on Dumbo. Still, despite that film’s failure to reach the same heights as previous hits such as Beauty and The Beast or The Jungle Book, Disney’s track record to date with the live-action concept has been quite impressive. Whether that will continue with upcoming releases like Lady and the Tramp and Mulan remains to be seen, but the idea of a Little Mermaid adaptation is likely to gain a significant degree of interest when it arrives.
As things currently stand, The Little Mermaid still has yet to finish casting and aside from recent news that Halle Bailey will play the titular mermaid Ariel, some big roles are still unspoken for. One of these roles is that of Prince Eric, Ariel’s love interest in the film. And although Harry Styles was previously circling the role, it's since been reported that he's passed on playing Eric in live-action. Now, 13 Reasons Why star Christian Navarro has confirmed (via his Twitter account) that he's in the running for the role.
Fans of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why will know Navarro as Tony, the reliable yet often troubled friend of Clay Jensen, as well as the deceased Hannah Baker. Navarro seems to have shown a significant degree of initiative in his pursuit of the role, having previously Tweeted that he can sing and dance and that the (then) upcoming third season of 13 Reasons Why was “one hell of an audition”. This was enough to catch the eye of Disney execs who got in touch with Navarro, asking him to send in an audition tape. Navarro has since sent his audition off to Disney, but as of this writing, there remains no official decision on the fate of Prince Eric’s live-action star.
Though Navarro is a relatively new face in Hollywood, the young actor has had a couple big screen roles, albeit small ones. Most recently, he starred opposite Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in the Oscar-nominated Can You Ever Forgive Me? And while that wasn’t exactly the role to showcase what he can do, Navarro is correct when he asserts that his work on 13 Reasons Why has been impressive. Whether or not it’s enough to persuade Disney that he can handle something as potentially massive as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid, however, remains to be seen.
Source: Christian Navarro