London-based rising actor Jonah Hauer-King has nabbed the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic The Little Mermaid.
Halle Bailey has already been cast as Ariel, the title character, and the call sheet also includes Melissa McCarthy as the witch Ursula, along with Javier Bardem as King Triton. Jacob Tremblay will voice Flounder, while Awkwafina is the voice of Scuttle and Daveed Diggs is voicing Sebastian the crab.
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, repped by CAA and UK’s United Agents, appeared in this year’s A Dog’s Way Home and a BBC adaptation of Little Women in 2017. He also stars on the BBC war drama World on Fire. He previously appeared opposite Kenneth Branagh in a West End production of The Entertainer.
Rob Marshall is set to direct The Little Mermaid, which will showcase all the well-known songs and also have new material. Original composer Alan Menken is teaming with Lin-Manuel Miranda, with Menken composing and Miranda writing.
Marc Platt, who worked with Marshall on Mary Poppins Returns and executive produced Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin remake, is producing. Marshall and John DeLuca are also producing Little Mermaid, as is Miranda.
An early 2020 production start is planned.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.