After making his acting debut in Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk, Harry Styles is in early talks to play Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Collider has learned.
Halle Bailey, the young singer who represents half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, is set to star as Ariel, the rebellious mermaid daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land.
Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play the villainoius Ursula, while Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are nearing deals to play Ariel’s friends, a fish named Flounder and a seagull named Scuttle, respectively. In addition to King Triton, another key role that has yet to be cast is Sebastian the crab.
Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) is directing the film as well as producing alongside Marc Platt, John DeLuca and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will write new songs with Alan Menken , the Oscar-winning composer behind the original 1989 animated film. Production is expected to start early next year.
The Little Mermaid is a heck of a consolation prize for Styles, who just yesterday lost out on the role of Elvis Presley in a new Baz Luhrmann film, as the part went to rising star Austin Butler, who plays Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Styles is the former One Direction sensation who made his acting debut in 2017 as a young soldier in Nolan’s WWII movie Dunkirk, in which he acquitted himself quite well. While Styles certainly has the right look to play Prince Eric, his ability as a singer — one with a massive fanbase — likely gave him the edge for the role. Styles is often mentioned for musicals and other projects that contain singing, whether it’s WB’s Elvis movie or the studio’s upcoming remake of Little Shop of Horrors, which has been percolating for several years now.
Styles is represented by CAA and Full Stop Management.