We may never know what happened inside Heartbreak Hotel; the fictional room we’ve dreamt up in our own minds whereby Baz Luhrmann saw Harry Styles, Austin Butler, Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller audition to play Elvis Presley in his new film. While it was revealed yesterday 27-year-old Butler will play the King, surely some hearts were broken and hopes dashed.
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” said the Oscar-nominated film-maker. “Through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Styles though is onto the next thing already. The One Direction alum is in talks to take the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, it has been revealed today. According to reports, Styles is an early favourite to star opposite R&B singer Halle Bailey who will play Ariel and Melissa McCarthy who is rumoured to play Ursula.
And as The Lion King’s live action adaptation is getting more and more bad press as the days go on, Styles’ inclusion – or even the rumour – is an important one. His only acting accolade is in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake follows Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin reboot which is expected to take $961 million worldwide at the box office, Jon Favreau’s aforementioned The Lion King (still expected to rake in $450 million) and Tim Burton’s Dumbo which only brought in $353 million – a disappointing result for the film house. Later this year, Angelina Jolie will reprise her role in Maleficent’s sequel.