It looks like the casting directors of Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid are going to have to start digging through their reject pile of dreamboat headshots. Because their first choice dreamboat for the part of Prince Eric doesn’t want to do it.
It was rumored back in July that Disney was “in talks” with Harry Styles to play Prince Eric, the blue-eyed land hottie who causes Ariel (played by Halle Bailey) to trade her fin for legs to a sea witch. But sources connected to the film tell The Wrap that Harry turned them down. They claim that Harry is a fan of the project, but he’s got more interest in seeing it in the theaters than to be on set making it happen. So it would appear that Harry isn’t playing any of the dark-haired hunks he recently read for.
The Wrap points out that both the Twitter accounts belonging to AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas tweeted, then later deleted, the “breaking” news that Harry was officially confirmed for the role.
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) August 13, 2019
The Wrap tried to contact both AMC and Regal to see where they got their information from, but both theater chains didn’t get back with a response. Maybe their social media managers are hardcore Directioners, and they were just putting it out there into the Universe, The Secret-style. Or maybe Disney is trying to keep this under-wraps because they’re planning to announce Harry as Eric at D23 Expo next weekend.
Then there’s also the third option, which is that The Wrap’s sources are right, and Harry doesn’t want to do it. But why? My guess is there was a breakdown in communication. Harry was told he was reading for a character in The Little Mermaid, a story about a creature with a beautiful voice and gorgeous hair who desperately wants to leave where they came from. And it took them at least a dozen times to explain that no, Harry – you wouldn’t be playing the mermaid.