Disney's the Little Mermaid live-action remake is continuing to cast up and the movie has just set its sights on another majorly high-profile cast member. It's been reported that Harry Styles, the former One Direction member turned actor, is in early talks to take on the role of Prince Eric. Should things pan out, and there's no real reason right now to think they won't, he'll join the recently cast Halle Bailey, who will play Ariel.
According to several reports, Harry Styles is in early negotiations for the role, but no deal has closed as of yet. However, things seem to be moving in one direction. It's becoming increasingly clear that Disney wants this to have a serious musical flare, as Halle Bailey also started her career as an R&B singer. Styles, outside of his work with One Direction, has had a very commercially successful solo career. So he certainly has the musical chops, and the look, to pull this off. That said, even with his relatively limited experience, he's proven to be no slouch in the acting department either.
While Harry Styles hasn't had a ton of on-screen time without music being involved, he did star as one of the leads in Christopher Nolan's critically-acclaimed 2017 World War II thriller Dunkirk. When his casting was initially announced, it took quite a few people by surprise. Yet, by the time the credits rolled, Styles had managed to convince most everyone that he can make a go of it in Hollywood. Should the deal make, he'll join a cast that also includes Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay (The Predator) as Flounder.
Rob Marshall, who most recently helmed Mary Poppins Returns, is in the director's chair for the remake of the 1989 animated classic. Lin-Manuel Miranda is on board to compose new music for the movie, and legendary composer Alan Menkin, who composed the score for the original, is returning to update his soundtrack. This looks to be the next live-action remake that is on deck for Disney.
The recent casting of Halle Bailey made something of a splash, for various reasons. For starters, some thought that Oscar-winner Halle Berry had been cast as Ariel. But, more to the point, many online expressed their opinion that it should have been a white actress in the part. On the other side of the aisle, there has been a large outpouring of support for Bailey.
This comes after a year that will see Disney release three similar remakes in the form of Dumbo, Aladdin and this weekend's The Lion King. While Tim Burton's Dumbo stumbled a bit, Aladdin wound up becoming one of the biggest hits of the summer and The Lion King is looking to rule the box office this weekend. The Little Mermaid does not yet have a release date locked down, nor is it clear how soon production could get underway. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news was previously reported by Collider.