Fresh off of his unplanned guest-spot on HBO’s Euphoria, Harry Styles may have a new on screen role in Disney’s live-action, Rob Marshall-directed adaptation of The Little Mermaid. According to Variety, the former boy band star is in “early negotiations” to play Prince Eric.
While Styles’ (who is thought to be bisexual) career has largely centered around music, he did star in Christopher Nolan’s war epic Dunkirk. Prince Eric doesn’t sing at all in the original film, but the 2007 Broadway musical — yes, the one where the entire cast wore Heelys to simulate swimming — gave him the songs “Her Voice” and “One Step Closer,” which could be added to the film to flesh out his role, something Disney did so effectively in Aladdin with Jasmine’s power ballad “Speechless.”
Styles’ rumored role is the latest in a series of casting announcements about the film, following the news that Halle Bailey will play teen mermaid Ariel, with Melissa McCarthy as the villainous sea witch Ursula. Both of those reports caused their own controversy, with many queer folks displeased that a role designed in the likeness of drag queen Divine would be played by a cis woman, and others unhappy that Lizzo hadn’t secured the role after campaigning for it. Some of us are just mad it isn’t Lady Gaga.
Bailey’s casting triggered what can only be described as a shitload of racism, with every MAGA hat-wearing loser with internet access voicing their displeasure that Ariel would be played by an exceptionally talented young woman of color. Our advice? Stay mad!