Singer/actor Harry Styles of One Direction fame might play Prince Eric in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Or maybe it was all a load of carp?
Movie theater chain Regal Cinemas sent out a tweet Tuesday afternoon announcing the casting and headlining the news with an all-caps “BREAKING” announcement. But the tweet was later deleted with no explanation. We’ve reached out to Regal, Styles’ representatives, and Disney for comment, and will update if any of them respond.
It’s not like this is the first time Styles’ name has been associated with the role. Other media outlets, including Vanity Fair, have reported that Styles has either signed on, or is about to do so. Disney site The DisInsider also cites an unnamed source saying Styles has taken the role.
Though best known for his musical career, Styles played a soldier in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 World War II film, Dunkirk. But the theater’s tweet made it sound official, though perhaps someone jumped the gun with the news.
Disney turned The Little Mermaid story into a blockbuster animated feature in 1989, and details about the live-action remake have been trickling out since 2016.
Prince Eric has no songs of his own in the 1989 version, but if Styles does join the cast, that seems likely to change.
Composer Alan Menken, who co-wrote the songs for the animated film, said this summer that he was working on the music for the live version, along with Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Singer Halle Bailey will play the lead character, mermaid Ariel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bailey confirmed the news with an excited tweet of her own.
The film could start production in 2020.
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