While we’re all on the edge of our seats awaiting Disney’s announcement of the cast for The Little Mermaid, it seems – alas – there is some bad news.
Or good news, depending on your outlook.
After revealing 19-year-old Halle Bailey will be playing Ariel, thoughts then turned to the rest of the cast. The Little Mermaid is full of iconic characters – Sebastian the crab dude, King Triton, Prince Eric, Purple Ursula etc etc.
And while we’ve had everyone from Terry Crews to Idris Elba and Javier Bardem named-checked to play King Triton, as well as Gordon Ramsay getting a shout out for the role of Angry Chef Louis, there’s not been much word of heartthrob Prince Eric.
After a bit of will he-wont he, it seems he won’t unfortunately, as Harry Styles has reportedly officially turned down the role of Prince Eric. In other news, Ed Sheeran won’t be starring in his own Game of Thrones spin-off, Matthew McConaughey isn’t starring in a musical biopic of Kiss’ Gene Simmons, and I won’t be making my West End stage debut this autumn, sadly.
The rumour mill was flying when it got wind of the One Direction star’s possible appearance in Disney’s live-action remake.
However, while it seemed fans were up for the idea, Styles himself wasn’t so keen and, according to The Wrap, people ‘with knowledge of the project’ confirmed Harry ‘is a fan of the project’ but ‘respectfully declined’ to take part.
Styles made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 epic Dunkirk. He also reportedly screen-tested for the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming biopic about the singer, however the role is said to have gone to Austin Butler, who recently appeared in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.
While it might be a shame Styles isn’t up for getting down where it’s wetter, under the sea, it means the role is still open, for now. Fingers crossed for Gene Simmons, am I right?
OK, so it might be while before I get my Kiss musical, but we do have confirmation of Halle Bailey as Ariel, while Melissa McCarthy is in the running for purple Ursula.
It’s also been suggested Jacob Tremblay, of Room fame, and Awkwafina of Crazy Rich Asians fame, are set to be play Flounder and Scuttle respectively. In the original 1989 film, Flounder the fish is Ariel’s best friend, while Scuttle is a seagull who Ariel meets while she’s on land.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.