Here's the Real Reason Harry Styles Passed On Playing Prince Eric in 'The Little Mermaid'
Instead, Jonah Hauer-King is portraying the iconic character in the live-action.
When Disney first announced the forthcoming live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid in 2019, Harry Styles had been rumored to portray Prince Eric. According to director Rob Marshall, that was almost the case. However, the pop star declined the opportunity because the project didn’t match the tone of films he was going for.
“We met with him. He was lovely. What a wonderful guy,” Marshall recently told Entertainment Weekly. “But at the end of the day, he really felt like he wanted to go off and do the movies that he ended up doing, which were sort of darker.”
Marshall continued, “For a lot of young musical people like Harry, you’re trying to carve your way and you don’t wanna be seen as a singer, necessarily. That’s why he was really looking to do something not in the musical genre, to really stretch himself. It was really a fun idea to play with, but in the end, I always think things happen for a reason.”
Instead of Styles, Jonah Hauer-King ended up getting cast as Prince Eric. “I’m always looking for the person who’s deeply connected to a part,” Marshall added. “The words come off the page and all of a sudden they’re in his mouth, and it sounds true and real. You believe the person.”
The Little Mermaid hits theaters on May 26. Revisit the latest trailer below.