Harry Styles Swims Away From 'The Little Mermaid' Remake

Last month, word broke that Harry Styles was being sought to join The Little Mermaid remake cast as Ariel’s love interest Prince Eric. Yesterday, numerous outlets started claiming it was a done deal, and Styles would indeed be part of the cast. Not so fast! It looks like these reports were incorrect, and Styles is not in the movie after all. The singer-turned-actor has declined the role, which means The Littler Mermaid is going to have to find itself a new prince.

If you were ecstatic over the news of Harry Styles joining The Little Mermaid cast, we have some bad news. Even though Twitter accounts for both AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas both claimed Styles had officially signed on, The Wrap broke the news that Styles had passed. An insider with knowledge of the matter revealed that “Styles is a fan of the project but respectfully declined.”

There’s a lesson to be learned here: don’t jump the gun. Styles was indeed being considered for the film, but there’s a big difference between being considered and actually signing on. But that divide is often overlooked by outlets itching to break the story first. Sometimes it works out! Sometimes…it doesn’t. This was an example of the latter.

Had Styles joined the film he’d be starring alongside Halle Bailey, who is playing Ariel. Other potential cast members include Melissa McCarthy as villain Ursula, Jacob Tremblay as the voice of Ariel’s fish pal Flounder, Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle the seagull, and Javier Bardem as Ariel’s father King Triton. Worth noting: of all these cast members, Bailey is the only one confirmed by Disney. In other words, there’s always a chance McCarthy, Tremblay, Awkwafina, and Bardem could make like Styles and walk away. We’ll see. Now that Styles is out, feel free to start fan-casting Prince Eric!

Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall is directing this new version of The Little Mermaid, and he’s producing with John DeLucaMarc Platt, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film will include several songs from the animated original, which were created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, plus some new songs by Menken (music) and Miranda (lyrics).

In the original movie, “rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.”

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