Here we go again. There's a new rumor swirling that Tom Hardy could be cast as Jafar in the live action remake of Aladdin and no surprise, the internet isn't happy. Can you blame them? If this casting rumor is confirmed, which right now it has not been, it's just another example of whitewashing in Hollywood.
According to Teen Vogue, this rumor started with a report in The Sun that director Guy Ritchie was interested in Hardy, a British actor, playing the Middle Eastern character. It's not set in stone, but this source told the British paper that Hardy's "certainly one of Guy’s favored choices." Again, this is just a rumor, but that doesn't mean Twitter hasn't been coming up with some very real responses to this rather surprising, and unfortunate news item.
"I love Tom Hardy," one person tweeted," but him as Jafar is awful casting. Come on whitewashing a character is not only wrong it never work out for any movie."
It is true that Scarlett Johansson's Ghost In the Shell didn't perform well at the box office, and many connected that to the controversy surrounding her whitewashed casting in a role that was originally written as Japanese.
Another person pointed out, "The first song in Aladdin is called Arabian Nights. Arabian. And you want Tom Hardy...to play Jafar." Yeah, that boggles our mind, too.
Many people found a way to use the "Oh no baby, what is you doing?" gif in messages like "Hearing Disney is considering casting Tom Hardy as the decidedly non-caucasian Jafar in Aladdin." And, "Me @ Disney when I found out live action Mulan may not have singing and Tom Hardy might play Jafar in Aladdin."
Back in March, it was reported that Aladdin put out an open casting call noting that the characters were Middle Eastern. But many worried that this didn't mean they would be casting Middle Eastern actors but anyone who could pass for Middle Eastern.
In an interview with Collider earlier this year, Aladdin producer Dan Lin said that he wants the remake to be "diverse," noting, "we’re not here to make Prince of Persia," which famously cast Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead. "We want to make a movie that’s authentic to that world."
Here's the hoping this Hardy rumor is just that.