It’s official: the floppy haired, Prada-wearing, impossibly chiseled Harry Styles has officially been cast as the leading man in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
Fleshing out the role of Prince Eric (my first pixelated crush), Harry Styles has proven to be a divisive choice ever since rumours first began bubbling about his casting. What’s more, not only will Styles have to prove his acting chops, but he has to bear the brunt of the current backlash against Disney live-action remakes, which have only so far been average at best. There was also furore after a Twitter faction reacted badly to Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel, spawning a race row over the Hans Christian Andersen character. It’s safe to say that the film has already caused a stir, and production hasn’t even begun.
There’s plenty to be optimistic about, however; Styles has definitely come on in leaps and bounds since his on-screen air-grabbing to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on The X Factor nine years ago. Bidding farewell to the v-neck Topman tees of his audition days, he’s since spawned an enormous legion of loyal fans, plenty of Gucci red carpet lewks and a small but solid role in Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning Dunkirk, in a performance that was generally praised by critics. In terms of his film career, though, I reckon it’s safe to say that apart from in every teenage girl’s 2010 wet dream, Styles hasn’t got many starring roles under his belt.
The 25-year-old Worcestershire native does seem to fit the bill for a Disney prince: proven warbling abilities, a sweet, kind-hearted demeanour, a million fans ready to flock to ticket booths to see Styles lock lips onscreen. All I’m saying is. he’s definitely set to lend a new meaning to the lyrics darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter.
Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins Returns) and produced by Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Marc Platt, The Little Mermaid has not yet got a release date and is currently in pre-production.
Words by Steph Green