Harry Styles turns down role of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid remake

Harry Styles attends The 2019 Met Gala. (Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Harry Styles has “respectfully declined” the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Earlier this month, the singer was reported to be in negotiations to play the role, but a source told Variety that the One Direction singer has “amicably” decided to turn down the part.

Styles would have starred opposite actress and Grammy-nominated artist Halle Bailey, who will play Ariel.

The remake will feature songs from the 1989 animation as well as new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

While Eric did not perform songs in the original film, Disney was planning on either a solo or duet song for Styles, according to The Independent.

Other stars rumoured to appear in the film include Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina.

Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy is also supposedly the frontrunner for the role of Ursula.

This would have been Styles’ first role since his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 Oscar-winning film Dunkirk.

He was also reportedly in the running to play the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic of Elvis Presley, but US actor Austin Butler has since been announced as the film’s lead.

Harry Styles fans express their disappointment.

Fans who had been excited about the prospect of seeing Styles as a Disney prince have been sharing their disappointment on Twitter. 

One fan wrote: “Right so going from ‘harry styles confirmed to be prince eric’ to ‘anything is yet to be confirmed’ all the way to ‘harry styles has denied the role of prince eric’ all in a matter of hours has been the worst form of heartbreak i have ever experienced.” 

Another Twitter user wrote: “Harry styles turned down the role of prince eric and i would just like to say i am simply devastated thank you that is all.” 

But all is not lost for Styles fans.

There are rumours that the Sign of the Times singer is working on a second album after he was spotted filming new music videos in Mexico and Scotland.