Sources say the initial reports about his casting were premature and that Styles made the decision to move on amicably. The studio has already begun looking at others for the part and, according to sources, a decision should come shortly.
Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula.
“The Little Mermaid” will be directed by Rob Marshall and written by David Magee. The upcoming film will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated classic, as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken with lyrics by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is also producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca. Jessica Virtue and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing for the studio.
The original “The Little Mermaid” was a hit when it debuted 30 years ago and was credited with sparking a Disney animation renaissance. The story, about a mermaid who falls in love with a human named Eric, introduced audiences to classic tunes like “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl.”
The Wrap first reported the news of Styles rejecting the role.