Washington : ‘The Little Mermaid’ makers are in negotiations with actor Harry Styles to star in the film as Prince Eric.
Styles has joined Halle Bailey who will be essaying the role of Ariel, American rapper Nora Lum (Awkwafina), Jacob Tremblay in the film’s cast.
Disney’s upcoming film follows the story of Prince Eric who falls for the mermaid Ariel after she saves him drowning. She then makes a deal with the witch Ursula to exchange her voice with the witch’s legs.
Styles casting came amid the controversy around Bailey’s selection for the role of Ariel. Critics have been calling out to the filmmakers regarding Bailey, a black woman playing a princess.
However, Disney’s cable network Freeform issued an open letter to the critics which read, “Danish mermaids can be black because Danish people can be black. Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the ahem Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also genetically (!!!) have red hair.”
Defending the ‘Grown-ish’ actor, Freeform put up a reminder that the story and the character of Ariel was fictional.
“But spoiler alert – bring it back to the top – the character of Ariel is a work of fiction. 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,” the network continued.
The movie scripted by David Magee will include the original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The film is produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marshall, Marc Platt, and John DeLuca.