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Harry Styles Declined Prince Eric Role in “Little Mermaid” to Seek “Darker” Roles

Harry Styles

Many of us have been on the Harry Styles train since hearing him in British-boyband, One Direction. Some have become more recent fans of his solo work, jamming to singles like “Watermelon Sugar” and “As It Was.” If you didn’t already know, Styles’ work reaches beyond the scope of pop songs on stages. In fact, he’s recently dabbled in the film industry. 2022 was quite the year for Harry’s acting career. Let’s recap.

Harry Styles’ Acting Career Takes Off

Image of Harry Styles in movies Don't Worry Darling and My Policeman
Pictured: Harry Styles as Jack in Olivia Wilde’s ‘Don’t Worry, Darling’ (left), and Tom in Michael Grandage’s ‘My Policeman’ (right)

In July of 2017, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk came out in theaters, featuring none other than Harry Styles. Dunkirk was Harry’s first acting credit. The movie went on to receive 34 major award nominations, further enunciating the impact of Styles’ first film – even though he was only a small part of a much larger story. Since, Harry has acquired more major roles in a variety of genres. From action-packed Marvel movies, to romantic dramas, to psychological thrillers, Harry has surpassed dipping his toes in the water and has made a splash.

Starring in films like My Policeman and Don’t Worry, Darling, Harry Styles has displayed a range of talent that is applicable in multiple scenes and settings. Paired with the power of the internet (and quite the fanbase) it’s no surprise that Styles’ name was thrown in the hat for stars considered to play Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Between the singing and the good looks, it seemed like a shoe-in. And yet, Styles declined.

Director Rob Marshall of The Little Mermaid finally answered the internet’s burning question: Why wasn’t Harry cast as Prince Eric?

“[Harry] really felt like he wanted to go off and do the movies that he ended up doing, which were sort of darker.”

Rob Marshall told Entertainment Weekly

What’s In Store for Styles Now?

Don’t fret – we may not be getting Harry as Prince Eric, but there’s still much to look forward to. In August of 2022, it was rumored that Harry had signed a five-movie deal with Marvel Studios. His role in the MCU was first revealed in Eternals in an end-credit scene playing Eros. And it appears that his character has some unfinished business in the superhero world.

Sadly, there’s no word on when Harry’s next Marvel movie will release. Between going on world tours and dropping an album of the year (stream Harry’s House), he seems to be wrapped up. But no worries – I’m sure we’ll see Eros soon enough.

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