The Aladdin Remake's Casting Call Asked For Middle Eastern Actors — Sort Of

Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Close on the heels of Beauty and The Beast, Disney favorite Aladdin is now getting the live-action treatment. (The live-action Jungle Book won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, so it's not surprising there are more remakes to come.) The casting call is making its way around Twitter, and it looks like the studio is gearing up to cast its next Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.
The calll notes that "these characters are Middle Eastern," referring to Aladdin and Jasmine. Hopefully, that means Disney is looking for actors who are also Middle Eastern. Whitewashing is a problem that plagues Hollywood all too often, and it's fair to be concerned the new Aladdin would fall victim to it.
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But some people are worried about exactly how the casting note is worded. It doesn't say that the studio's looking for Middle Eastern actors — which means there's a chance the roles could still be filled by "passing" actors, Teen Vogue notes.
There's reason to be hopeful about the movie's casting, though. In an interview with Collider last month, Aladdin producer Dan Lin said that he wants the remake to be "diverse."
"I'm very fortunate working in Hollywood; I am diverse. So when I came in to make the movie, I wanted to make a diverse version of the movie," Lin told Collider. "Luckily for me, [director] Guy Ritchie has the same vision and Disney has the same vision, so we’re not here to make Prince of Persia. We want to make a movie that’s authentic to that world."
It's great to hear that Lin and Ritchie want to create a film that's true to the characters' Middle Eastern roots. Hopefully, they'll cast actors who can portray Aladdin and Jasmine respectfully as they explore the whole new world of CGI Disney movies.
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