Our favorite ex-boy bander may be taking a trip under the sea.
That’s right: Harry Styles is in early talks to play Prince Eric in Disney’s forthcoming live-action The Little Mermaid film, according to Collider.
After he debuted as an actor in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and shocked us all by effortlessly transitioning from pop singer to surprisingly capable actor, Styles seems ready to take on a new role. And with his dark and dapper, Disney prince-level good looks, as well as his acting chops, he may have it in the bag.
If the talks go as planned, Styles will star opposite Halle Bailey, the adorable younger half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle. Bailey is set to play Ariel herself with her powerful yet angelic voice and some serious operatic range.
Assuming his deal closes, Styles will play Ariel’s romantic interest, the human prince Eric. After Ariel saves Eric from drowning during a violent storm, he catches the mermaid princess’s eyes and launches her into her dangerous venture onto dry land.
We’re hoping we’ll get plenty of chances to hear Styles sing alongside Halle. Surprisingly, Eric never got a singing role in the 1989 original animated movie. But the Broadway musical remedied that by giving Eric several songs, including two solos.
The film is currently deep in the throes of casting before its expected early 2020 production start. Melissa McCarthy has also been in talks to play the villainous, tentacled sea witch Ursula, while Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are revving up to play Ariel’s BFFs, the adorable guppy Flounder and the quirky seagull Scuttle, respectively.
No word yet on who’ll fill the roles of Ariel’s overprotective father, King Triton, or her crab babysitter, Sebastian.
Rob Marshall, who also directed Mary Poppins Returns, will direct the film and produce alongside Marc Platt, John DeLuca and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda will also be writing some new songs with the legendary Alan Menken.
While the role of Elvis Presley, which instead went to Austin Butler, in a forthcoming Baz Luhrmann film may have just slipped through Styles’ fingers, it sounds like he has a firm grasp on the role of Eric, especially with his clear vocal talents and overwhelming fanbase.
A former member of One Direction, Styles has been busy putting out solo music and slipping into acting by playing a young soldier circa WWII in Nolan’s critically acclaimed Dunkirk. We’re excited to see what Styles may have in store for us after his initial acting debut. And of course, his legion of fans are already going hysterical.
Stay tuned for more on The Little Mermaid.