Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Harry Styles in talks to play Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid, but who cares, no big deal

Photo: Steven Ferdman (Getty Images)

Casting for Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has been a real rollercoaster of emotions—from the disappointment in the all-too-obvious casting of Melissa McCarthy as Ursula (are these people even trying?) to the excitement over Halle Bailey as Ariel (okay, maybe they’re trying). Here to give us some additional whiplash is The Hollywood Reporter, delivering the total shrug of a news item that Harry Styles of One Direction fame is in talks to play Prince Eric, the object of Ariel’s affection. In the famous words of that redheaded fish-lady: “But who cares? No big deal. I want more.” Like maybe along the lines of the genius casting of Awkwafina as Scuttle, a goofy talking seagull originally voiced by Buddy Hackett. Now that’s using your noggin’.

On the upside, Harry Styles—who was most recently seen in animated form going to bone-town with Louis Tomlinson in that episode of Euphoria—has some acting experience under his belt: He previously appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk (aka Boats ‘n’ Bros) and he was on the shortlist to play Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming biopic (he lost out to Austin Butler). Styles also has undeniable music talent, as does Bailey, who performs with her sister in the R&B duo Chloe X Halle. At the very least, The Little Mermaid will have some very good songs, helped in part by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is collaborating on new songs with original composer Alan Menken.

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