Judging by the trending topics thing on Twitter, the entire Internet melted today when rumors began to spread that former One Direction member Harry Styles would be starring alongside Halle Bailey in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. It was all very exciting, if only because it would mean seeing Harry Styles in one of those open sailor shirts that Prince Eric wore in the original, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. As determined by The Wrap, the rumors originally came from the Twitter accounts of AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, both of which posted this morning that Styles had been cast as Prince Eric.
The tweets have since been deleted, but it’s not like this all came out of nowhere. We heard just last month that Styles was in the running for the role, which would’ve meant also appearing alongside Awkwafina’s Scuttle and Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula, but The Wrap says Styles “respectfully declined” the role. Styles has been making some tentative forays into professional acting lately, appearing in a prominent role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and becoming one of the frontrunners for Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis biopic, but apparently he wasn’t interested in appearing in what will surely be a huge hit movie with new songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and original composer Alan Menken. (Obviously nobody is going to insinuate that Styles simply didn’t get the part because he’s not good enough, because that would be absurd.)
Anyway, Harry Styles is not playing Prince Eric.