Elvis is out; Prince Eric is in. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Harry Styles—who tested, but ultimately lost out on the lead role of Elvis in Baz Luhrmanns upcoming biopic about the King—is reportedly in early negotiations to join the cast of Disneys The Little Mermaid remake as Prince Eric. Well. Thats one way to lick your wounds.
Reps for Styles did not respond to Vanity Fairs request for comment. If he does wind up signing on, though, it will mark another big step for the pop star, who made his big screen debut in Dunkirk in 2017, and has been eyeing more film roles ever since. Elvis would have been an astonishing next step, but Styles—who reportedly competed against a number of actors, including Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson—lost out on that part to rising leading man Austin Butler.
No matter. Hell apparently follow Christopher Nolans anxiety-inducing World War II drama with a singing-and-dancing Disney movie scientifically engineered to make a billion dollars. Though Styless claim to fame is through boy band One Direction, he told reporters in 2017 that acting was technically his first love.
“I started acting when I was younger in school,” he said. “Ive always liked it, and have always been a massive fan of movies.”
If hes officially cast, Styles would star opposite Halle Bailey, the singer cast to play the titular mermaid, Princess Ariel. So, two singers!
In the original 1989 film, Prince Eric is mostly just the object of Ariels affection, hanging out with his Old English sheepdog Max and going sailing. He doesnt sing in the movie, but…perhaps Disney will drum up a new song for Styles? After all, Princess Jasmine (played by Naomi Scott) got a new song in the Aladdin remake, as did Nala (Beyoncé) in the upcoming Lion King reboot. Seems only right that Styles will get a crack at singing a Disney original as well.
The rest of the cast will (reportedly!) be rounded out by Melissa McCarthy (as Ursula), Jacob Tremblay (as Flounder), and Awkwafina (as Scuttle). Rob Marshall is set to direct, while Lin-Manuel Miranda will work on new music with original Little Mermaid composer Alan Menken. Per T.H.R., production will begin in early 2020.
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