Guy Ritchie's Aladdin slated after white prince character casting

Ben Arnold
Contributor

Guy Ritchie’s live-action adaptation of Disney’s classic animated feature ‘Aladdin’ has stumbled into another row over race.

It’s been announced that the actor Billy Magnussen, who appeared in the movie musical ‘Into The Woods’ and Netflix series ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’, will play a newly-created character, Prince Anders.

Nowhere in the original Middle Eastern folktale that the story of Aladdin comes from – nor the 1992 movie – does such a character exist, so movie fans have asked ‘what gives?’






Others were disgruntled less about the fact that the character is white, and more about why the story is being meddled with the story in the first place:



Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that Ritchie has fallen foul of such matters, with many eyes trained closely on any potential white-washing in the production of the movie.

There was similar consternation when Naomi Scott of ‘Power Rangers’ fame was cast as Princess Jasmine, a British actress of Indian origin, rather than the production finding an actress of Middle Eastern origin.

Many complained of Hollywood’s apparent attitude that actors and actresses of Asian and Middle Eastern origin are ‘interchangeable’ because of their skin tone.




It was said that Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed – both also of Asian and not Middle Eastern origin – were initially being pursued for the lead role, prior to the casting of Mena Massoud (an Egyptian-Canadian) as Aladdin.

With Will Smith in the role of the Genie, the movie has no release date just yet.

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