Disney is bringing back Aladdin and Genie, Jasmine, Abu, Iago, Jaffer, and the Magic Carpet, but as a live action film. Disney announced that the project would be directed by Guy Ritchie, and put out a casting call for – hold your breath – a non-white actor to play a non-white character. Sacrilege!
Disney was looking for “Middle Eastern actors in the 18 to 25 age range” to audition for the role of Aladdin. A Hollywood Reporter article states,
Aladdin is set to be a movie-musical (a la the upcoming Beauty and the Beast reimagining), so the notice reads “must be able to sing” and says dancing experience is “a plus.” Shooting will take place over an approximate six-month period, from July 2017 to January 2018, in the U.K., with rehearsals beginning in April.
18-25. Middle-Eastern (Brown). Singing. Dancing. Acting.
Could this get any easier?
Disney is struggling to find its male star for Aladdin, a man who can dance, act & take on such an iconic character. https://t.co/rb28mgAoJG
— Rebecca Ford (@Beccamford) July 11, 2017
Unfortunately for Disney, there was no fairytale ending.
Dev Patel. Riz Ahmed. Two of the brownest and youngest actors in Hollywood weren’t brown or young enough for Aladdin. Or perhaps they couldn’t sing and dance.
And so, Hollywood and Disney will likely do what they usually do. Cast Matt Damon.
Because Matt Damon. If he can go to Mars and Science his way out, why can he not be a Middle-Eastern Young Singer and Dancer?
Or Christian Bale, because why not? If Christian Bale can be Egyptian Moses, with just the tiniest bit of brown facepaint, why can he not be Aladdin with a tiny bit more brown?
Needless to say, the world pointed out a tiny little flaw in Disney’s argument. There is a place in the world that trains its young actors to sing and dance. And climatic conditions and genetic history sort of fulfil the other requirement.
— Jenny Yang???? (@jennyyangtv) July 11, 2017
If this man is not a prince, then no man is. And yes, I take it very personally that Fawad isn’t already the Alladin. NOT COOL Disney. pic.twitter.com/XiUBWRVsJ4
— Aishwarya S (@Hyper_aice) July 12, 2017
Hold it. Hold it. Hold it! Before you all run away with these suggestions:
Breaking News: Kamal Haasan agrees to play Alladin in the Disney live action film. Also plays the Carpet and Jasmine.
— Nadika Nadja (@NadjaNadika) July 11, 2017
Listen, honestly. I am a fan of Kamal Haasan. He can sing. He can dance. He can act. What’s more important – he’s got the relevant experience. He’s already played Aladdin. Or Alavuddin. Yes, Kamal Haasan isn’t in the 18-25 range, a fact the man himself will concede. So, may we present: Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay.
The man can dance.
The man can sing. Sort of.
The man can ac…well yeah, you get the point!
You see, Bollywood isn’t the only place to find young actors who can possibly play Aladdin. And oh, may we remind you, Middle-Eastern is not Indian, but if you are extending the category to include all brown actors, well, why not come look south too?
At Silverscreen, the team had a long and vigorous argument – lasting all of 3 minutes and 47 seconds – over who our favourite actors would be to play Aladdin.
There’s Atharvaa Murali. There’s Gautham Karthik.
There’s Mahesh Babu.
What was the requirement again? 18-25. Must sing, dance, act.
You’ve just described GV Prakash! Yes, well. That was in jest. But how about STR.
Rajkummar Rao. Wait, just because he’s called Rao does not make him south Indian. After much persuasion, discussion, suppression, oppression, Team Silverscreen arrived at a sort of consensus. (Mainly, we were running out of time if this story had to go today.)
So here it is. The Official Silverscreen Vote for – Actor Most Likely to Play Aladdin:
Hear him sing.
See him dance.
That’s settled then.
Now on to the tricky question of who will play Jasmine, the lovely Princess.
Why is this a question?
So there you go folks. The Silverscreen selection committee list:
- Dulquer Salmaan as Aladdin
- Nayanthara as Princess Jasmine
- Nasser as Jaffer
- Rana Daggubatti. We don’t know what character he fits best, but we want him there. Just because.
- Madhavan as the Genie. A stubbled, clavicle-y, salt-and-pepper-y Genie.
Disney, we accept PayPal and Wire Transfer. But old-fashioned cheque in the mail works as payment too.
Pic: Hollywood Reporter