Little Mermaid Director Reveals Why Harry Styles Really Turned Down Prince Eric Role

Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall shared why Harry Styles chose to walk away from the role of Prince Eric, which ultimately ended up going to Jonah Hauer-King.

By Angie Orellana Hernandez Apr 04, 2023 10:05 PMTags
Watch: Why Harry Styles Turned Down Role in The Little Mermaid

Harry Styles almost took an adventure under the sea.

However, the "As It Was" singer ultimately chose to not pursue the role of Prince Eric in live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. And as the film's director Rob Marshall explained, it was all due to Harry wanting to be part of another world career-wise.

"We met with him. He was lovely. What a wonderful guy," Rob said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly published April 4. "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."

Instead, Harry went on to play Jack in psychological thriller Don't Worry Darling and Tom Burgess in the queer romantic drama My Policeman, both of which were released in 2022. The Grammy winner didn't have a singing-focused role in either movie, which Rob said was an intentional move.

Upcoming Disney Live-Action Remakes

"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," the Chicago director noted. "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. I'm so happy to have two young, new people in the film."

Ultimately, British actor Jonah Hauer-King ended up nabbing the role of Prince Eric opposite Halle Bailey's Ariel.

Getty Images; Walt Disney Studios

And the Chloe x Halle singer couldn't be more ready for viewers to see the film when it finally arrives in theaters this spring.

"I am ready for everyone to finally see this film, for it to finally be out," Halle told E! News at the 2023 Kids' Choice Awards. "We have worked on it for a long time, we've been talking about it for a long time, but now we're finally going to see it and I'm just grateful."

The Little Mermaid is out in theaters May 26.

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