U.S. (CBS) — Will Harry Styles star be the one to “Kiss the Girl”? The performer is reportedly in early negotiations to play Ariel’s love interest Prince Eric in the live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The singer – who first garnered acclaim for his acting chops in the 2017 war film “Dunkirk” – would appear opposite Halle Bailey’s Princess Ariel in the highly-anticipated film.
In the original film, Prince Eric didn’t perform any songs, however, with Styles’ singing background that may change for the film. Styles was the youngest member of the British boy-band One Direction, with Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik. He released his own wildly successful self-titled solo album in 2017.
Bailey’s casting announcement earlier this month marked the first time Disney chose a woman of color for the role of a traditionally white princess for one of its live-action remakes. Although some criticized the studio for casting the 19-year-old black actress, Disney’s teen-centric cable channel, Freeform, as well as Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in Disney’s 1989 animated “The Little Mermaid,” slammed those critics.
“The character of Ariel is a work of fiction,” a July 6th post on the channel’s Instagram stated. “So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you.”
Bailey rose to fame with her sister as R&B duo Halle x Chloe. Since then, the two have starred in the “Black-ish” spinoff “Grown-ish” and opened for Beyoncé during her Formation World Tour. The pair also released a studio album and sang on the soundtrack for Ava DuVernay’s “Wrinkle in Time,” another Disney film.
Other cast members in talks for the movie are “Crazy Rich Asians” star Awkwafina as Scuttle, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and “Wonder” star Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.
The film is expected to be released in 2020, featuring music from the original 1989 animated classic, as well as new music from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken.
Styles has not confirmed the reports on his social media. Disney and Styles’ have not yet responded to CBS News’ request for comment.
Sophie Lewis contributed to this report.