Harry Styles Turned Down the Role of Prince Eric in 'The Little Mermaid' & People Have Feelings

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Well, we'll consider our hot Disney prince dreams dashed. Casting news for the live-action Little Mermaid has been everywhere the last few weeks, and now, we know who won't be playing the male lead. Apparently, Harry Styles has turned down the role of Prince Eric, and we're having trouble understanding why.

And so are many of his fans, it seems.

  • Although rumors have been swirling about Harry playing Prince Eric for weeks, it's officially not happening. 

    Harry Styles
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    According to what a source close to the movie told E! News, Harry was offered the role, but for whatever reason, he decided not to take it. 

    "While [Harry] is a fan of the project he has respectfully declined the offer," the insider said. 

    We can't imagine why someone wouldn't want to take such an iconic role, and Harry would have fit the part so perfectly!

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  • Fans are (understandably) heartbroken about this plot twist.

    It makes sense -- with some pretty big theater chains tweeting about Harry getting the role, it seemed safe to assume that this was happening for real. 

    And then, to be let down like that ... major bummer.

  • Others are whipping out the clown paint: 

    TBH, we are all clowns for believing these rumors without Disney or Harry making the announcements themselves. But honestly, can anyone blame fans for getting so excited? This casting would have been epic.

    And we miss One Direction. That is all. 

  • This tweet pointed out that Harry is a prince, regardless of casting.

    (But to be clear, we cannot call him Prince Harry -- that name has already been taken.) 

    It's true -- this project may not have been for him, but there will be others ... and hopefully, we'll find out who the actual Prince Eric is soon. There have been nonstop rumors about this movie, but so far, all that's been officially confirmed is who is playing Ariel: the adorable Halle Bailey.

  • But still, we'll be wondering what could have been.

    Whoever ends up with the role will probably be great, but Harry would have been awesome too. 

    Maybe now he finally has time to get One Direction back together? Possibly? We can dream.