Following an “under the sea”-storm of back-and-forth casting news, Halle Bailey’s Ariel has finally found her prince in the upcoming live-action film rendition of The Little Mermaid.
Sidenote: Let us rejoice in the fact that the televised stage play version of The Little Mermaid has come and gone because the casting confusion was beginning to make us all seasick!
Anyway, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Prince Eric will be portrayed by London-based actor Jonah Hauer-King in the live-action film helmed by Rob Marshall. Original composer Alan Menken will be back for some familiarity, this time teaming up with Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The casting department has had a difficult time finding its leading man. As THR reported:
While the rest of the roles were filled in the summer, the part of Eric took unexpectedly longer. Harry Styles was in talks with the studio for a protracted period, but that ultimately fell apart. Disney then spent months scouring the seven seas for the right actor. In the end, Hauer-King and Cameron Cuffe, the star of the Syfy series Krypton, did several rounds of reading/testing before a decision was finally made.
Hauer-King ultimately won in the end. His credits include A Dog’s Way Home (seriously, there’s like 50-11 movies about dogs with the same plot and doggy voiceover narration), The Entertainer and BBC’s World on Fire.
Along with Bailey as the titular character, confirmed cast members include Melissa McCarthy (Ursula), Javier Bardem (King Triton), Jacob Tremblay (as the voice of Flounder), Awkwafina (as the voice of Scuttle) and Daveed Diggs (Sebastian).
The Little Mermaid is set to begin production in early 2020.