Disney may have found its next prince, and it's all thanks to a tweet. Ever since Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in the new live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, rumors have circulated over the casting of her love interest. As of Sept. 4, a number of stars are still in talks for the role, including a Netflix fan-favorite. 13 Reasons Why's Christian Navarro auditioned for Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid, and fans are super excited about it.
The internet as a whole has really gotten into the Prince Eric speculation. Fans chimed in with a whole lot of ideas about the character's casting, including the idea to cast singer Harry Styles. Disney actually listened to that fan idea, and for a little while it seemed like Styles might have signed on for the role. However, Styles turned down the part of Prince Eric, leaving it open for another heartthrob to step in. That's apparently when Navarro decided to throw his hat into the ring.
On Aug. 13, Navarro tweeted about his interest in playing Prince Eric and said his performance as Tony Padilla in Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why could serve as an audition.
Fans of Navarro and 13 Reasons Why replied to the tweet with plenty of support for him. Some people tweeted said they would "cry tears of happiness" and others said they "would definitely go to the theater a lot" if he were cast in the role. Other fans got down to business and called on Disney to pay attention to Navarro, and it turns out, someone at the company actually did.
On Sept. 3, Navarro tweeted that Disney saw his tweet and all the support from fans. Apparently, Disney took the hint and asked Navarro to audition for the role. He tweeted:
Navarro is clearly excited about the opportunity to play the role of Prince Eric, and to continue increasing the prevalence of diversity in Disney leading roles. The precedence for this has already been set in the remake: While the original animated version of The Little Mermaid had an all-white cartoon cast, the new movie's Ariel will be played by Halle Bailey, a black actress. There was unfortunately some backlash online from people unhappy with that decision, but it was far outweighed by fans who are thrilled to see this step toward inclusivity. For her part, Bailey told Variety she doesn't pay attention to the negativity, and that she's looking forward to being a part of a project that means so much to so many people. "I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater and it’s going to be beautiful," she said. "I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
Navarro pointed out that if he were to be cast, he would be playing a Latino prince alongside a black princess. It's an exciting prospect that would help make the movie even more diverse.
With so much hype surrounding The Little Mermaid, it makes sense that Navarro is going all-in on his audition. Now Disney just needs to listen to him and his fans to make their dreams come true.