In devastating news for Harry Styles enthusiasts: Harry Styles has passed on the role of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid, according to reports by Variety and TheWrap. On Aug. 13, news prematurely broke on Twitter that the former One Direction singer will star opposite Halle Bailey in Rob Marshall’s highly-anticipated live-action remake of the beloved 1989 Disney classic. As per Variety, Styles "made the decision to move on amicably," and now, the studio has "already begun looking at others for the part." (Bustle reached out to Disney for comment on the reports, but has not yet received a response.)
Back in July, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety had reported that Styles was “in early negotiations” to join the star-studded adaptation as the dashing prince. Styles, who proved his acting chops in Christopher Nolan’s war film Dunkirk, would have joined Jacob Tremblay in the role of Flounder, and Awkwafina in the role of Scuttle. Additionally, Melissa McCarthy has been reportedly in talks to play Ursula, and No Country For Old Men actor Javier Bardem is rumored to be in talks to depict Ariel’s father, King Triton. A release date has not been announced, but production is rumored to begin sometime in January 2020, as per The DisInsider.
The live-action will feature remastered songs from the 1989 animated classic, as well as new songs from original composer Alan Menken. Moana composer Lin-Manuel Miranda will pen the lyrics. Menken is responsible for the film’s classic tracks such as “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.” Given Bailey’s long-standing musical background — as well as Menken and Miranda’s expertise — the live-action will no doubt be filled with great music and vocals.
Had Styles taken on the role of Prince Eric, it would not have marked his first foray into film. He last starred in the 2017 war drama Dunkirk. More so, the British actor and singer was reportedly on the short list to depict musician Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic. The role ultimately went to Austin Butler.
Following the premature news that Styles' would be joining the live-action remake, fans collectively got so excited on social media. Twitter user @kiwisdarling wrote, “This is MY prince eric and MY princess ariel and if you don’t like it then STAY HOME! PERIOD”
Elsewhere, One Direction fans simply could not contain their feels.
There was a lot of screaming, courtesy of the perfect Bretman Rock reaction video.
Twitter user @deavky invoked the perfect Michael Scott meme.
One user made the case to be cast as the sand that Styles walks on.
Meanwhile, another user made the case to be cast as Prince Eric’s dog.
Now, on the heels of news that Styles will not be taking on the role, fans took to social media to mourn the news with silly memes and tears — lots and lots of tears.
It's been a rollercoaster of a day for The Little Mermaid casting news. Still, it'll be exciting to learn who will ultimately replace Styles in the highly-anticipated live-action.