Nobody wants to ride Aladdin’s flying carpet.
Disney is struggling to find stars for Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
More than 2,000 people have reportedly auditioned for the roles of Jasmine and Aladdin, but finding a male in his 20s of Middle Eastern descent is apparently proving too difficult.
“Lion” star Dev Patel and “The Night Of” star Riz Ahmed were both rumored to be considered for the role, but Hollywood has few diverse actors.
Will Smith reportedly in talks to star as genie in ‘Aladdin’
“The Big Sick” star Kumail Nanjiani joked on Twitter that he was interested in the role, but gave no hint as to whether he’d been approached.
“What am I, chopped liver?” he tweeted.
Ahmed spoke out about the difficulties about typecasting, which he said he faced frequently as a British Pakistani.
“When you first start seeing gay characters in mainstream cultures or black characters or Muslim characters, they can start off as the stereotypical portrayal — it’s the cab driver, the shopkeeper, the drug dealer,” he told the Hollywood Reporter last month.
“There was a lot of, like, Terrorist No. 3 stuff — I just made a decision I wasn’t going to do it. I thought, ‘I’d rather be broke.’”
Disney is also waiting to cast Jasmine until an actor for Aladdin has been booked to test onscreen chemistry. Delays have already pushed shooting back several months.
Will Smith is still reportedly in talks to voice the Genie, but no further casting has been revealed.
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