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Rob Marshall explains why Harry Styles turned down The Little Mermaid

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Rob Marshall

Rob Marshall has explained why Harry Styles turned down a role in The Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid live-action remake director spoke to Entertainment Weekly for an interview published on Tuesday and revealed the As It Was singer was originally offered the role of Prince Eric opposite Halle Bailey’s Ariel, but rejected the offer because he wanted to star in darker, non-musical films.

“We met with him. He was lovely. What a wonderful guy,” Rob said of Harry. “But at the end of the day, he really felt like he wanted to go off and do the movies that he ended up doing, which were sort of darker.”

Reports surfaced during the film’s casting process the singer was in talks to portray the Disney prince, but the director’s interview marked the first time these had been confirmed.

“For a lot of young musical people like Harry, you’re trying to carve your way and you don’t wanna be seen as a singer, necessarily,” he continued. “That’s why he was really looking to do something not in the musical genre, to really stretch himself. It was really a fun idea to play with, but in the end, I always think things happen for a reason. I’m so happy to have two young, new people in the film.”

Jonah Hauer-King eventually landed the role of Prince Eric.

“I’m always looking for the person who’s deeply connected to a part,” Rob explained of the search for the perfect prince. “The words come off the page (and) all of a sudden they’re in his mouth, and it sounds true and real. You believe the person.”

The Little Mermaid will be released in May.

– Cover Media