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Harry Styles won't play Prince Eric in 'The Little Mermaid' after all

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

For fans of Harry Styles and The Little Mermaid, Tuesday was a roller coaster of emotions, as the singer and actor was rumored to have signed on to play Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live action reboot of its 1989 animated classic and then, just as quickly, those rumors were shut down.

First, Disney fan blog the DisInsider reported that Styles had been cast, which was not unexpected, after The Hollywood Reporter said last month that Styles was in “early negotiations” to play Ariel’s love interest. Both AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas tweeted the news, and Twitter was pumped.

Harry Styles attends the Dunkirk premiere on July 18, 2017, in New York City. (Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Disney and Styles for confirmation.

Soon the theater chains deleted their tweets and a new report from The Wrap contradicted the casting news: Styles had turned down an offer to join the cast, people with knowledge of the situation said. Variety later confirmed.

DisInsider later apologized for getting the story wrong.

By that time, social media had been thrown for a loop.

Styles fans were devastated.

The 25-year-old former One Direction star appeared in 2017’s Christopher Nolan war drama Dunkirk, so the news seemed plausible. While The Little Mermaid would have been a more lighthearted role, it wouldn’t have been easy, since it would most likely require him to sing and act.

The filmmakers revealed last month that Halle Bailey, an actress on TV’s Grown-ish and a performer with the duo Chloe x Halle, would portray Ariel.

Other cast members include Melissa McCarthy, who’s playing the villainous Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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