What Actually Happened With Harry Styles' Prince Eric Casting?

14 August 2019, 11:15 | Updated: 14 August 2019, 11:16

Harry Styles has apparently turned down the role of Prince Eric
Harry Styles has apparently turned down the role of Prince Eric. Picture: Facebook (L); Getty (R)

A couple of hours after Harry Styles was announced to star in Disney's The Little Mermaid, it was confirmed that he had, in fact, turned down the role. But what happened?

Harry Styles was recently "announced" to play the role of Prince Eric in Disney's upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, but according to reports, the 'Sign of the Times' singer turned down the role.

The Wrap confirmed that Harry "respectfully declined" the role, despite being a "fan" of the project, which involves Halle Bailey, and is also rumoured to have Melissa McCarthy playing Ursula.

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So why were Harry's millions of fans expecting to see the One Direction heartthrob starring in Disney's next live-action movie?

Rumours around his casting have been rife, ever since fans started to back him, following his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, but it was "confirmed" after two independent sources, AMC Theatres and Regal - two of the biggest cinema chains in the United States - posted his casting on Twitter.

AMC Theatres posted about Harry Styles' casting as Prince Eric
AMC Theatres posted about Harry Styles' casting as Prince Eric. Picture: Twitter

Since, both posts have been deleted. Meanwhile, The DisInsider was apparently exclusively informed that Harry would star as Prince Eric, but they have since apologised for "not double confirming what [their] source told us".

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So far, only three cast members have been announced for The Little Mermaid; singer, Halle Bailey is to play Ariel, while Room's Jacob Tremblay will play Flounder, and Crazy Rich Asians' Awkwafina will play Scuttle.

Directioners were supporting Harry to portray iconic rock and roller, Elvis Presley, in Baz Luhrmann's biopic, after he was one of the shortlisted actors, alongside Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort, but he was unfortunately beaten to the role by Austin Butler, star of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Vanessa Hudgens' boyfriend.

Harry Styles isn't the only one set for the big screen; Liam Payne recently confirmed to Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp that he auditioned for Steven Spielberg's upcoming remake of West Side Story.

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"On my last birthday, I got a message saying 'You need to meet [Steven Spielberg]'," said Liam, before he went on to describe his audition for the movie, which is also rumoured to star his friend, Camila Cabello.