190814 Harry Styles
Harry Styles Image Credit: Supplied

British singer-actor Harry Styles has reportedly turned down an offer to play Prince Eric in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’.

Despite being a fan of the production, the former One Direction star “respectfully declined” to be part of it, according to The Wrap, who spoke to “individuals with knowledge of the project”.

Singer Halle Bailey, one half of the R’n’B sister duo Chloe x Halle, will play the lead character Ariel. The casting of 19-year-old Bailey created a buzz as she is set to be the first black woman to portray the role on the big screen. It is unclear who might star opposite her as love interest Prince Eric.

In 2017, Styles made his cinematic feature film debut in Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning war film, ‘Dunkirk’. Styles, 25, was also in contention to play Elvis Presley in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic, but the role went to Austin Butler.

The upcoming ‘Little Mermaid’ will be a remake of the 1989 musical animated film. It will feature familiar songs as well as new tracks from composer Alan Menken and ‘Hamilton’, ‘Moana’ mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Alongside Bailey, the film stars Awkwafina and child actor Jacob Tremblay.