Harry Styles says he passed on Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid remake to focus on his music career instead. It was reported the actor-singer-songwriter had entered talks to play Prince Eric in July, but he formally declined the role a month later.
Released in 1989, Disney's animated The Little Mermaid was a big hit and paved the way for the Disney Animation Renaissance of the 1990s. It's the latest Disney animated classic to start making its way down the live-action remake assembly line, following the studio's success with its re-imaginings of titles like The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns) is currently in the process of assembling the film's cast, ahead of the start of production in early 2020.
Styles, of course, is best known for his music career and being a member of One Direction, but tried his hand at movie acting with a supporting role in Christopher Nolan's WWII thriller Dunkirk two years ago. In an recent interview with The Face, Styles confirmed he "discussed" the idea of playing Eric in the live-action Little Mermaid, but said he decided to pass because “I want to put music out and focus on that for a while". He went on to assure that he had no problems with the film's creative team, saying "But everyone involved in it was amazing, so I think it’s going to be great. I’ll enjoy watching it, I’m sure.”
In Disney's animated Little Mermaid (based on Hans Christian Andersen's story), Eric is a human prince who falls in love with the mermaid Princess Ariel - unaware of who or what she is - after she saves his life during a sea storm. 13 Reasons Why actor Christian Navarro recently confirmed he sent Disney an audition tape to play the role in the remake, but for the time being the character has yet to be cast. In fact, the only role to be officially filled so far is that of Ariel, who's being played by Grown-ish star and Chloe x Halle co-founder Halle Bailey. However, Melissa McCarthy, Awkafina, Jacob Tremblay, and Javier Bardem are all in advanced talks to play key parts in the movie.
Although Styles' performance in Dunkirk was generally well-received by critics, his longtime fans will no doubt be happy to hear he's refocusing his efforts on his music career for the time being. Disney's live-action re-imaginings have so far attracted the cream of the crop when it comes to acting talent, and there's little reason to doubt the studio will eventually find either a big name or rising star to bring Ariel's love interest to life.
The Little Mermaid does not have an official release date yet.
Source: The Face