Saying that “early negotiations” are underway, The Hollywood Reporter writes that Harry Styles, he of One Direction, could soon become Prince Eric, he of the love interest who captivates the mermaid-turned-woman at the center of The Little MermaidThat’s the classic 1989 animated film that Disney is now in the process of turning into its next live-action reimagining.

Per THR, Styles would be partnered with Halle Bailey as the new Ariel, making a potent pop pair at the center of the film...

The casting of Styles and Bailey show the studio’s intent of making the music a central component of the remake. Interestingly, the character of Eric performed no songs in the 1989 original. However, that was remedied in the 2000s Broadway musical, with Eric now performing several, including two solos.

(The Little Mermaid Broadway musical ran for about 18 months, from January 2008 to August 2009.)

The new live-action Little Mermaid will be directed by Chicago and Marry Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall. The rest of the cast is rumored to include Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay, and Melissa McCarthy as the sea witch Ursula. The film is expected to go into production early in 2020.

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