As noted by the publication, Jonah beat out Krypton actor Cameron Cuffe for the role. The role of Eric has been highly sought after by many young actors for several months now.
At one point, it looked like former One Direction member Harry Styles was going to land the part, but he decided to turn it down. The Independent reported last week that Styles backed out due to how long films take to shoot. He plans on touring next year instead.
Jonah was likely chosen for his dashing good looks. Disney is known for casting their live-action movies as close to their animated counterparts as possible. Jonah certainly looks the part with his dark curly hair and chiseled jawline.
Jonah’s previous roles include the miniseries Howard’s End and Little Women. He also starred in A Dog’s Way Home, Old Boys, Ashes in the Snow, and the currently airing BBC miniseries World on Fire.
As Eric, Jonah will play the love interest of Halle Bailey’s Ariel. Outside of the leading roles of Ariel and Prince Eric, Deadline also tells us who else is in the cast. Melissa McCarthy will portray the underwater villainess Ursula. Jacob Tremblay will voice Ariel’s adorable pal Flounder, and comedienne Awkwafina will lend her voice to Scuttle.
Reactions to Jonah’s casting on social media have been mixed, with many users expressing dissatisfaction with the choice. It’s clear that several Styles’ fans were still hoping the singer-turned-actor would change his mind.
“Honestly I would have preferred Harry style over this guy this is underwhelming,” one user stated.
Other fans were far more enthusiastic, including one who said, “YASSS we finally have our Prince Eric for the Live action Little Mermaid!
“Jonah Hauer King is PERFECT!!!!”
Another commenter on the Deadline article also preferred Jonah’s casting, stating, “This is like a thousand times better than Harry Styles, who looks like a fetal Mick Jagger.”
“i’m not mad, he’s cute and dreamy and very prince eric-like, i’m sure Jonah Hauer-King is a name we’re gonna be hearing for a while from now on,” claimed another person.
It’s not yet clear when The Little Mermaid will debut in theaters. Several roles are still being cast, which means the film has not yet gone into production. It is likely we won’t see the movie in theaters until late 2020 or beyond.