Update: Since this article was published, it has been reported that Harry Styles has turned down the offer for the role of Prince Eric. Variety reports that sources have confirmed to them that he made the ‘decision to move on amicably’, and that the studio is ‘looking for other actors for the role and will announce the casting imminently’.
One Direction star Harry Styles has reportedly been confirmed as the actor playing Prince Eric in the Little Mermaid Disney live-action remake.
According to an exclusive report by Disinsider, he has officially signed on to be part of the project.
He had a minor part in Dunkirk, playing Alex, so Prince Eric will be his first huge movie role.
AMC’s official Twitter account also confirmed the news, however the Tweet has since been deleted. Hmm.
According to reports, Melissa McCarthy is being considered to play the brilliant sea witch, Ursula, while Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are being considered for Flounder and Scuttle, respectively.
This comes after it was announced that Halle Bailey had been cast as Ariel.
The 19-year-old star is best-known for being one half of Chloe X Halle and is sure to be a popular choice with younger audiences. Sadly, the casting of a person of colour in the live-action Little Mermaid has raised a few eyebrows.
Bailey has the honour of being the second black woman to portray a Disney Princess, following in the footsteps of Brandy in 1997’s Cinderella. Talking about Bailey’s casting, director Rob Marshall confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter) that she’d been a frontrunner from the start:
“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”
There has been plenty of support for Bailey’s casting, with many highlighting her singing voice as a huge reason for her landing the part, plus Disney moving away from its standard portrayal of princesses.
Brandy was the first black girl to be a princess in live action Disney movie. Halle Bailey is now only the second. We need more of this representation. Congrats to Halle Bailey on her role as Ariel! 😍🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/oNk1Dbc4vm— Black Culture News (@blackculturenew) July 3, 2019
halle bailey is so perfect for ariel, her voice is out of this world pic.twitter.com/xqDzQwMlDx— ْ (@hallebaileys) July 3, 2019
Disney: We’re casting Halle Bailey as Ariel!— Tino (@TinoForShort) July 4, 2019
Racists: Horrible casting! She’s not a ginger!
However, she’s been facing the trolls of the internet online. Still, it wasn’t exactly a secret that Disney was touting a black actor to play Ariel. Aside from Bailey, Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s Zendaya was also at the top of the casting list.
Featured image credit: Disney/Dia Dipasupil/Getty